Animal science and food products of animal origin: the role of measurements



Raffaella Branciari

Department of Veterinary Medicine
University of Perugia, Italy


Emiliano Lasagna

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences
University of Perugia, Italy


The worldwide demand for animal source foods (ASF) continues to increase as the ASF play an important role in human nutrition representing a source of high-quality proteins and essential micronutrients, both biologically difficult and economically expensive to obtain from vegetable foods. A substantial variability in production efficiency is widely recognized across the livestock industry even within systems operating under comparable climatic, biophysical and socioeconomic conditions. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in the identification of animal-based measures to include in a monitoring system to assess animal’s performance and productivity at farm level as well as animal welfare and health status. The identification of measurable parameters allows for the application of standard protocols in animal production chain; these protocols could include measurable parameters for the evaluation of a) the animal breeding and selection b) the livestock environment conditions; c) the management-parameters, which take into account the livestock systems; d) the animal conformation and size, collected directly from the animal, e.g., the body condition score, the visual assessment scoring, the numbers of wounds on the body, etc.; e) the animal reactions to the livestock environment f) the animal health status and finally g) the safety and quality of food of animal origin.
This section has been designed to make measurements available for animal production chains, providing an approach to support farmers with reliable and repeatable methods.


Prof. Branciari Raffaella carried out research activities in hygienic, sanitary, quality and technological aspect of foods of animal origin. Topics include: food processing, evaluation of chemical physical and organoleptic properties of food of animal origin, study of shelf life, food safety, risk assessment, chemical and microbial contaminant and traceability. She collaborates with several national and international research group and actually she is a task leader of 2 research projects. In the last years she studied the implementation of plant-derived antibacterial compounds for controlling zoonotic pathogens which contaminate food animals and their product.
She is member of the editorial board of several journals, authors of more than 100 papers and participant to National and International research projects.

Prof. Lasagna Emiliano carried out research activities in animal breeding in collaboration with the main Italian National breeder associations. His study field involves genetic characterization of Italian and European sheep breeds and the double muscling phenomenon (myostatin gene) in Marchigiana beef cattle breed. In the last years he contributed to the genetic characterization of autochthonous chicken breeds. Now he is collaborating the projects that aims to study the genes involved in the environmental stress tolerance and in resistance to climate change.
He is member of the editorial board of several journals, authors of more than 70 papers and participant to National and International research projects.

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