The department

The Department of  Food and Drug of the University of Parma, born from the merger of the Departments of Food Sciences and Pharmacy, was established on 4 April 2016 with DR. N 895/2016 and was activated on 1 January 2017.

The prerequisite for the creation of a single Department, focused on the study of drugs and food, is based on the consideration that their field of action is common: the health and well-being of humans and animals. The development of foods and drugs, the understanding of their mechanism of action and their formulation require an interdisciplinary approach whose ultimate goal is the well-being of the person obtained through balanced nutrition with products that carry substances essential for life, nutraceuticals that they can prevent some pathologies, and therapeutic treatments that allow you to recover from a state of illness.



Through a consistent high quality scientific production, the Department places itself on the national and international scene as a center of excellence in research and training in the related fields:

  • to the pharmaceutical and biomedical world, focusing on the discovery of new drugs, nutraceuticals/supplements, cosmetics, medical devices and their correct use and access for efficient pharmaceutical assistance.
  • the agri-food world, focusing on quality, safety, food typicality, technological and formulation innovation, design of new foods, design of new production processes, assessment of production sustainability.

It is the Department's task to train, in first, second and third level university courses, students with excellent qualities in professional practice, research, teaching and related occupations, relating to public health in the field of drugs, medicines and health products and to the main sectors of food science and technology and gastronomic sciences.
To this aim, the Department supports research activities and provides for the training of experts in the disciplines related to:

  • profession of Pharmacist
  • profession of Food Technologist
  • discovery, development, production and control of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetic, dietary and health products
  • aspects of the food chain (quality of primary vegetable and animal productions, agro-biodiversity, nutritional functions, technological innovation, marketing of innovative and traditional products, sustainability of the agri-food chain, agro-environmental microbiology and industrial fermentations, gastronomy and catering)
  • other aspects related to food (history, communication, image of food; food and wine journalism; exhibitions)

In addition to the areas related to teaching and research, the Department of Food and Drug is active in the so-called Third Mission, which provides for the construction of new ways for universities to disseminate knowledge in society, playing between the lines drawn by the need of citizens for correct information, from the market, from the civic responsibility of the researcher as an "employee" of citizens and "consultant" of the social and productive fabric. In this context, the commitments and initiatives involving the Department of Food and Drug are traced along two guidelines:

  1. the first one relates to the scientific and technological transfer towards the business world through the presence in spin-off companies, the carrying out of research activities on behalf of third parties and within projects agreed with local companies, with which it operates in synchrony also for obtaining ad hoc financing;
  2. the second one, on the other hand, opens up knowledge to civil society, helping to bridge the gap between scientific discoveries and public awareness: by participating in debates, intervening as experts alongside journalists, producing its own initiatives aimed at disseminating knowledge in the pharmaceutical and agri-food fields in schools or open to the public, the Department of Food and Drug is open to the needs and curiosities of society.


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