Besides specific exhibition pavilions, Expo also features various “clusters”, which are topics and food chains common to different countries. They represent 145 participating countries.

These thematic pavilions, divided by product or climate, are organised by Lombardy’s top academic institutions: : “Rice”, “Coffee”, “Cocoa and chocolate”, “Cereals and tubers”, “Fruit and legumes”, “Spices”, “Bio-Mediterranean”, “Islands, sea and food”, “Arid zones”.

Our university was invited to present the cultural content of the “Cereals and Tubers” cluster, featuring six countries that depend to a great extent on these products for food and socioeconomic status.

Cereals are the most widely cultivated plants in the world, occupying more than 700 million hectares of land, and about half of all cultivated land. They produce about 2.5 billion tons of grain per year.

Theme and content were organised by our academic staff members Maria Ambrogina Pagani and Guido Sali, Dept. Food, Nutrition and Environment and Dept. Agricultural and Environmental Science, respectively, who collaborated with experts in architecture and design to make the topics of the cluster functional to the overall philosophy of Expo 2015.

Topics range from genetic selection and methods of cultivation in relation to country and climate, to the link between destination of agricultural products and economic systems, starting with the role that cereal and tuber production plays in national life.

Ample space is dedicated to the presentation of information on grain structure (ensuring conservation until the next crop) and nutritional and functional value for the human body, without neglecting better-known but no less fascinating aspects, such as the processing of cereals and tubers and technological challenges still to be met.