Giuseppe Licitra

Full Professor of Animal science [AGR/19]

Giuseppe Licitra was born in Ragusa, February 15, 1958. Degree in Agriculture Sciences, at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Catania, on November 9, 1987 with the vote 110/110 cum laude. In 1995 he received the PhD in animal sciences, secondary sector in food science, at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA, with a thesis on "A strategy for the management of fodder and dairy cows for the production of Ragusano cheese in Sicily. " Since 2001 Giuseppe Licitra is Full Professor of Animal Sciences at the Department of Agriculture of the University of Catania.

In Catania university he carried out an intense and articulated educational activity. From the AY 1992/93 to the AY 1997/98 he teached in the various degree courses then Faculty of Agriculture, of: Anatomy, Physiology and Morphology of Domestic Animals, "Physiology of animals in livestock production"; from AY 1994/95 to AY 1996-97 "Morphofunctional Evaluations of Animals in Animal Husbandry Production"; from AY 1995/96 to AY 2000/01 "General Zootechnics"; from AY 1998/99 to AY 2006/07 "Special Zootechnics"; from the AY 2000/01 to the 2002/03 and from the 2004/05 to the 2010/11 "General zootechnics and Special Zootechnics"; in the 2003/04 academic year "C.I. of Zootechnical Sciences in a tropical and sub-tropical environment"; in the AY 2011/12 "Specialist Breeding Technologies"; from AY 2010/11 until today "Products of Animal Origin".

In 1990 he is the creator and Scientific Responsible of the Progetto Ibleo, that the Sicilian Regional Department of Agriculture institutionalized in 1996 in a body with public law personalities, the CoRFiLaC.

In 1996 he coordinated and promoted the institutionalization of the CoRFiLaC (Consortium for Research on the Dairy Supply Chain) in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, contributed to its foundation, of which he was President from 1997 to 2013 representing the University of Catania.

In the 1990s he received various assignments from the Department of Agriculture and Forests of the Sicilian Region supporting Sicilian Zootechnics.

From July 1993 to 1995 he was Extraordinary Commissioner of the Experimental Zootechnical Institute for Sicily, where numerous technical and scientific actions started, including the first sperm bank of Modicana breed, to be allocated to artificial fertilization.

In 1994 he was a member of the Technical Support Group for the Department of Agriculture and Forests for the development of the "Regional Zootechnical Plan" and for the evaluation of programs for the improvement and development of Sicilian animal husbandry.

In 1995 he was President of the Technical Committee of Barbaresca, Comisana and Pinzirita sheep breeds.

In 1997 he was President of the Central Technical Commission for the Modicana Cow Breed

                           In 1997 he was a Member of the Study Commission for the "Valorisation of the goat sector".

                           From 1997 to 2013 he dedicated his scientific and managerial activity to CoRFiLaC.

       As President of the CoRFiLaC he was the Scientific Responsible for the following international and national research projects admitted to financing on the basis of competitive calls:

  • POP FEOGA SICILIA 1994/99 Measure 10.4 Improvement of the quality of Sicilian dairy productions in order to safeguard and enhance the exceptional historical and cultural heritage witnessed in them, respecting the needs of consumers"
  • POM A03 Measure 2 Technological innovations and transfer of research Q.C.S. 1994-99 Ob.1 "Enhancement of dairy products of the South through the study of factors that determine its specificity"
  • POM A09 Measure 2 Technological innovations and transfer of research Q.C.S. 1994-99 Ob.1 "Safeguarding the welfare conditions of dairy cows in heat stress: interventions on microclimate and food"
  • POM B05 Measure 2 Technological innovations and transfer of research Q.C.S. 1994-99 Ob.1 "Use of whey from sheep, goat, buffalo and cow: improvement and enhancement of traditional products and study of alternative products".
  • PON Scientific Research Technological Development Higher Education 2000/2006 Reg. Ob.1 Measure III. 2 PROAMICO Project "Expert in marketing and marketing in the dairy sector"
  • MIUR project (call 10/15/01) entitled: "Historical dairy production with raw milk and role of traditional equipment, used during the cheese-making process, on the microbiological, sensorial and structural characteristics of cheeses".
  • scientific research program of relevant national interest COFIN 2003 (ex share 40%) entitled "Construction for breeding dairy cows and sheep shelters: appropriate building solutions to improve animal welfare", presented under the Decree of MIUR n. 21 of 20.2.2003 and financed by Decree of the M.I.U.R. prot. n. 197/2003.
  • APQ REGIONAL OPERATIONAL PROGRAM OF SICILY 2000/2006. Measure 3.15 "NETWORKS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, (ERDF)" Action C Strengthening of existing infrastructures and laboratories for the construction of centers for testing new technologies ex 3.15 project "Test of new technologies for the characterization and qualification of productions historic Sicilian dairy farms”.
  • Research and innovation project below the de minimis threshold (P.O.R. Sardegna 2000-2006, "Improvement of the desirability of dairy sheep feed"
  • MIR PNR. "Studies on the microbiota of cheese-making, aimed at the development of innovative product and process services, destined to the cheese supply chain, with particular attention to the protection of typical products and food safety"
  • FIRB 2007-2010 Role of microbial biofilms in dairy production, Molecular basis of biofilm formation, and improvement of quality and safety of dairy products.
  • MIUR PRIN 2007 "Innovative technical solutions to improve production efficiency and animal welfare in dairy cattle housing ". Project title:" Study on the effect of the rubber floor on the behavior and health status of the foot of the dairy cow in different conditions of heat stress ".
  • FRAMEWORK PROGRAM (APQ), P.I. 2.1 Algeria - Program to support regional cooperation APQ MEDITERRANEO "Development of the dairy supply chain in Algeria";
  • AGRIQUALITY: MILK FILIERA: Integrated plan for the training of technicians for quality production in the dairy sector - Argentina - Brazil.
  • Measure 124 HC, Cooperation for the development of new products, processes and technologies in the agricultural and food sectors and the forest sector - PSR Campania 2007-2013 DRD 634 of 11.11.2010 - Project: "A new model to revitalize the cow milk chain the noble milk (NOBILAT)”;
  • PROJECT "Improvement of the quality of bovine milk in the Sicilian Region" Rural Development Program - Sicily Region 2007–2013. Measure 124, Cooperation for the development of new products, processes and technologies in the agricultural and food sectors, and in the forestry sector - PSR Sicily Improvement of the quality of bovine milk in the Sicilian Region. Lead.
  • Project MEASURE 124 PSR 2007-2013 project "Rausano - Improvement of the production process Ragusano DOP"
  • T-cheesimal project "New technologies supporting the traditional cheeses in sicily and malta islands" PO Italy - Malta 2007-2013.
  • Progetto HI.L.F.TRAD (nr. 2AS1.3/003) - Hilâl sicilo-tunisien de la Filière Laitière-Fromagère Traditionnelle à travers les nouvelles technologies PO ITALIA TUNISIA.

From 2018 he is the Scientific Responsible of the AGER project entitled: Development of a synergy model aimed to Qualify and Valorize the Natural Historic Cheese of Southern Italy in the Sicilian, Sardinia, Calabria, Basilicata and Campania Regions. Funded by Network Foundations for Agribusiness Research.

In 2019 he presented, as scientific director, three projects on the RDP / Sicily 2014-2020 mis.16.1 and mis 16.2 awaiting evaluation.

He founded the World-wide Traditional Cheeses Association (WwTCa), a non-profit organization of researchers dedicated to the discovery, qualification and enhancement of typical dairy products in the world. He has devoted part of the scientific activity to research projects for developing countries (Algeria, Benin, Tunisia).

He has published more than 100 scientific papers in journals, proceedings and international books, as well as several articles in Italian scientific journals.

The researches developed have contributed to document the specificities and the production disciplinaries for obtaining the PDO certification (Protected Designation of Origin) for the Ragusano, the Pecorino Siciliano in 1996, for the Piacentinu Ennese in 2011 and for the Provola dei Nebrodi in 2018-2019.

Last edit: 02/02/2021

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From 1987 to 1990 he developed research on small ruminants in collaboration with other teachers of the Institute of Livestock at the University of Catania.

The research activity developed at CoRFiLaC also as a Scientific Responsible, was made possible thanks to the realization of the following laboratories and research groups differentiated by areas of competence. And in particular:

  1. Dairy and dairy production laboratories (some of which are ACCREDIA accredited) which in turn are differentiated in specific laboratories:
  • Chemical analysis of dairy products;
  • Chemical analysis of Zootechnical foods and metabolism of ruminants;
  • Dairy microbiology and milk quality;
  • Aromas and health properties of dairy products;
  • Protein Biochemistry, Electron and Confocal Microscopy;
  • Sensory Analysis.
  1. Extension Service that maintains relations with producers and carries out research and dissemination activities in the field (herd management, nutrition, reproduction, milk quality, dairy technologies).
  2. Interdisciplinary Data Processing Center.
  3. Experimental cheese plant for the technological characterization of Sicilian historical cheeses.
  4. Certification Body of Ragusano and Pecorino Siciliano DOP.
  5. Regional Cacioteca for the experimental and service aging of Sicilian Historic Cheeses.
  6. Experimental Marketing Strategies, Price Observatory for Sicilian Historic Cheeses, School Project, which maintains relations with consumers and the tertiary sector.
  7. MICAS, Mediterranean Institute of Culinary Art of Sicily.
  8. International cooperation.

The main research activities were focused on the protection and enhancement of traditional dairy productions, with the aim of scientifically demonstrating how the factors of territorial bio-diversity influenced the aromatic, sensory and health specificities of the products.

With reference to the historic Sicilian cheeses the following main research themes have been developed:

  1. Characterization of traditional cheeses and their respective production technologies.
  2. Importance of traditional equipment (wood and copper) to scientifically support EU decisions (Directive 92/46 EEC, 852 and 853/2004 and D.A. of the Department of Agriculture and Forests of the Sicilian Region of 28 December 1998 on historic Sicilian cheeses).
  3. Food safety of cheeses produced with traditional systems.
  4. Aromatic and sensory profiles of traditional cheeses connected to the classic bio-diversity factors of "natural" production systems.
  5. Health properties of traditional dairy products.
  6. Effect of traditional aging systems on cheese quality.
  7. Consumer behavior in the choice of dairy products, "Consumers Behavior".
  8. Certification of PDO Cheeses (Ragusano and Pecorino Siciliano)
  9. Dissemination of knowledge (dissemination of sector research results) among producers and consumers.

With reference to the area of animal production.

  • Improvement of the quality of fodder (conservation and use);
  • Improvement of milk quality and reproductive efficiency;
  • Improvement of animal productivity in both intensive and extensive systems. (Management, nutrition and product quality, animal comfort, etc.);
  • Statistical models to optimize business management also through the enhancement of the DHI activities carried out by ARAS;
  • Project "International Professional Women Opportunity - iPWO";
  • Quality certification, conservation and enhancement of Wagashii cheese produced by Peuhl women in Benin;
  • Improvement of forage and zootechnical productions of the Atacorà Donga de Benin department.

Particular attention has been paid to the dissemination of research results to producers in the livestock and dairy sectors, sector operators and consumers through the School Project, tasting labs, Cooking Show (MICAS), both in the period before and after Project Ibleo and CoRFiLaC. Through the activity of the extension service, permanent training activities have been developed for the zoo-technical and dairy producers.

In the course of his scientific work he has established a network of international relations with the Department of Animal Science and Food Science of the Cornell University of New York, with the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, with Wageningen UR Livestock Research Animal Breeding and Genomics Center, Netherland; with INRA, UMR1253, Science et Technologie du Lait et de l'Oeuf, Rennes, France; Malta University.

From 2014 until today he developped research on:

  • “Dairy products in the display counters of points of sale in Sicily. Current events and prospects for historic Sicilian products. From putìe to GDO. Published in the UNICT monograph "Putìe".
  • On the territorial specificities and production processes of the Provola dei Nebrodi necessary for obtaining the PDO recognition.
  • Nutrient balance of the production systems of Ragusano cheese, Piacentinu Ennese and Provola dei Nebrodi;
  • Nutrient balance of the Ricotta production systems deriving from the whey of milk deriving from the production of Ragusano cheese, Piacentinu Ennese and Provola dei Nebrodi;

For the research topics concerning the defense of traditional dairy productions he has been invited in various international seminars and conferences as "invited speaker", in USA, Ireland, France, Japan, Egypt, Benin, ...).