94871 - Geochemical and Isotopic Fingerprint as Tools for Food Traceability and Food Safety

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Climate Action Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents

The course will introduce the students on:

i) The knowledge of the basic geochemistry of waters, soils and plants from an elementary and isotopic point of view.

ii) The knowledge of key chemical technologies for the study of soil formation and the interactions that occur between natural environments and food production activities.

iii) The ability in the processing of chemical data in order to understand the interactions between the atmosphere-soil-plants systems and their relationships with climate change in the perspective of sustainable agriculture and the fight against the climate crisis in progress.

iv) The knowledge of the main techniques for detecting the elemental and isotopic signature with which to investigate the origin of foods and their authenticity.

v) The ability to analyze carbon and nitrogen cycles: C3 and C4 plants, storage of soil texture, seasonal changes and soil microbial communities on the assimilation and cycles of Carbon and Nitrogen.

vi) The ability to analyze biogeochemical cycles and relationships with the geo - lithological environment, carbon exchanges between soil and atmosphere and the isotopic balance of organic matter pools to quantify the alterations due to changes in climate or land use and anthropogenic impact.


- Food Authentication and Traceability. 1st Edition. Editor: Charis Galanakis. Paperback ISBN: 9780128211045

eBook ISBN: 9780128231975 Imprint: Academic Press.,

- Isotopes and the Natural Environment. Author: Alexandre Paul; Edit‎ Springer ISBN 978-3-030-33652-3

Teaching methods

The course is divided into a series of lectures (in person and remotely) that will take place using teaching support tools: simple blackboard, computer video projector, overhead projector, exercises in the laboratories

Assessment methods

Final oral exam with discussion of the content of a scientific article provided by the teacher; at least 3 further questions on the topics of the program carried out.

Teaching tools

Slides of the lessons

Office hours

See the website of Elena Marrocchino