Science of Human Nutrition

Master Degree - School: Medicine and Surgery - Access type: Restricted number of available places

Language: Italian

General Information

o Class: LM–61 (Ministerial Decree No 270 of 2004)
o Course type: Master Degree
o Duration: 2 years
o Access type: Restricted number of available places
o School: Medicine and Surgery
o Department: Experimental Medicine and Surgery
o Course code: J68

Description and Teaching Objectives
This Degree is aimed at graduates in different disciplines (BA in Dietetics, Medicine, Pharmacy, Biology, Agriculture) and provides interdisciplinary knowledge regarding food characteristics and their effects on health from the viewpoint of nutrients, hygiene and safety.
Such training includes the study of the main parameters of Biochemistry, Clinical Biochemistry and Clinical Molecular Biology in connection with nutrient and non-nutrient requirements and metabolism, which are physiologically active and useful for assessing nutritional statuses. It also requires deep knowledge in terms of cell organisation and classification of living organisms, including evolutionary theories. Furthermore, students must be aware of the relationship between nutrients and the modulation of gene structure and proteomes, as well as the effects caused by industrial pollutants and food additives on cell metabolism.
In the context of disciplines on human nutrition, graduates must learn the techniques to assess nutritional statuses, the concepts of balanced diet and nutritional needs, as well as the metabolic effects of major low-calorie diets. Moreover, they must learn mechanisms of action and drug interactions with nutrients, as well as the impact of malnutrition-related diseases on Public Health. This includes physio-pathological aspects affecting the digestive system.
As far as technology and agribusiness management are concerned, graduates must know the composition of foodstuffs, the most advanced techniques to process and preserve food, chemical transformations induced by cooking as well as diseases caused by microorganisms transmitted through pets and soil and arising through their toxins spreading in foodstuffs.
The course also deals with economic, social and legislative issues, hence training professionals (Nutritionists) capable of intervening in various fields addressed by modern food science and human nutrition.

Career Opportunities
Graduates can work in: food, dietistics and pharmaceutical companies; control laboratories; laboratories testing technologies for novel foods; catering companies and hospital restaurants; Public Health.
Work opportunities include: collaboration on food consumption surveys aimed at monitoring the nutritional trends of the population; assessment of food nutritional characteristics and modifications induced by technological and biotechnological processes; analysis of nutrients bio-availability in foodstuffs and food supplements as well as their effects; implementation of methods to assess food safety and suitability for human consumption; assessment of proper food intake in order to achieve recommended nutrients levels and maintain a safe health status; evaluation of the most suited nutritional status basing on physical and psychological characteristics in stressed individuals with particular focus on physical and competitive activities; information and education on food safety principles for institutional operators and the wider public; collaboration in international training and assistance programmes in terms of food availability in depressed areas and emergency situations; collaboration in accreditation and monitoring procedures for laboratories and health facilities as far as food preparation, conservation and distribution is concerned.

Web References and Contacts

Coordinator: Prof. Isabella Savini

Didactic secretariat: Ms Eliana Marchese
Tel: +39 06 7259 4373