Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Bruno Tirillini On appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Nutritional Sciences (L-29)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course has two purposes, the first is to complete the basic information that has been given with the previous course of plant biology providing a phytochemical description of the first level of secondary plant metabolites and the second provides to give critical information on the so-called plants food. With regard to the latter, taxonomic information will be provided for their botanical recognition, indicating the most widely used species and / or varieties in the food sector with indication of their nutritional properties and their use as functional foods.



The study of the following class of chemical compounds: Carbohydrate: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides (trisaccharides, tetrasaccharides, higher homologues), polysaccharides (cellulose, starch, fructans, mannose-based polysaccharides, pectic polisaccharides, chitin, chitosan, algal polysaccharides, cyclitols, substituted-cyclitols, branched-chain sugar, sugar alcohols, exudate gums). Terpenoids: monoterpenoids, iridoids, sesquiterpenoids, sesquiterpenoid lactones, abscisic acid, acyclic, bicyclic, tricyclic, tetracyclic, and macrocyclic diterpenoids, gibberellins, triterpenoids, phytosterols, cardenolides, saponins, carotenoids, rubber and related polyprenols, degraded terpenoids, sesterterpenoids. Essential oil compounds. Phenolic compounds: biogenesis of the phenolic compounds; phenols and phenolic acids, phenylpropanoids (hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, coumarins, chromones); lignins, stilbenes, flavonoids, chalcones and retrochalcones, aurones, flavanoids, anthocyanins, isoflavonoids, biflavonoids, tannins, quinones, xanthones. Nitrogen containing compounds: amines, cyanogenetic compounds, alkaloids (tropane, pyrrolizidine, pyrrole, pyrrolidine, pyridine, piperidine, quinoline, isoquinoline, quinolizidine, indole, polyhydroxy, diterpenoid, steroidal), betalains. Sulphur containing compounds: glucosinolate, dithiacyclohexadienes, thiophenes.

Food additives from plants: E100 (curcumin), E140 (chlorophylls and chlorophyllins); E153 (vegetable carbon); E160a (carotenes), E160b (annatto, bixin, norbixin); E160c (capsanthin capsorubin); E160d (lycopene); E162 (beetroot red), E163 (anthocyanins).

Food plants

Cereals: barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, wheats. Cereal not Gramineae: buckwheat. Legumes: bean, broad bean, chickpea, lentil, pea, soybean. Starch bearing plants: batata, potato, topinambour. Sugar bearing plants: beet sugar, cane sugar, maple sugar. Oil bearing plants : corn, olive, palm, peanut, rapeseed, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower. Methylxanthine bearing plants: cocoa, coffee, guaranà, matè, tea. Aromatic pants: basil, celery, fennel, garlic, mint, onion, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme. Spice: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mustard, nutmeg, pepper, red pepper, turmeric. Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, beet, cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, pepper, pumpkin, spinach, tomato.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding

demonstrate knowledge and understanding in a field of study of a post secondary level, including some cutting-edge topics in the field of pharmaceutical botany, with the support of advanced textbooks;

Applying knowledge and understanding

be able to apply the acquired knowledge and be able to understand in order to demonstrate a professional approach to their work, and possess adequate skills both to devise and support arguments and to solve problems in the field of functional foods in relation to the different problems that plants they can have on human health even if the basic nutritional characteristics are equal;

Making judgments

collect and interpret data useful for determining independent judgments, including reflection on social, scientific or ethical issues related to the food use of plants in relation to their content in secondary metabolites;

Communication skills

communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialists and non-specialist interlocutors;

Learning skills

Develop the skills necessary to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy, having a very complete botanical and phytochemical background in the field of food plants;

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

lectures with audiovisuals

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Having given the Plant Biology exam

Course books

Slides of the course

E. Maugini, L. Maleci Bini, M. Mariotti Lippi - Botanica Farmaceutica -Piccin

C. Rinallo - Botanica delle piante alimentari - Piccin

B. Tirillini - Fondamenti di Fitochimica - Akros


The course includes a final written exam.

The written test consists of the open answer to 10 questions as follows, whose answer demonstrates that the student is able to apply the concepts given during the course. Applications must be concise to demonstrate that the student must demonstrate that he is able to evaluate the essential aspects of the requested topic.

The duration of the test will be 30 minutes

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Course books

Slides of the course

E. Maugini, L. Maleci Bini, M. Mariotti Lippi - Botanica Farmaceutica -Piccin

C. Rinallo - Botanica delle piante alimentari - Piccin

B. Tirillini - Fondamenti di Fitochimica - Akros

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