Chemistry, Microbiology and Technologies
Research themes and Projects
- chemical and biochemical processes in soil and in plant for agricultural production;
- bioavailability studies of nutrients and pollutants, in particular the biogeochemical processes that control the mobility of nutrients and pollutants in the soil-plant interface;
- environmental fate of organic pollutants (especially pesticides and bioplastics);
- effects of cover crop on rhizospheric microbial communities;
- use and recycling of waste biomass;
- studies on the biostimulating action of different kind of extracts.
The research topics developed by the Food Technology sector (AGR15) concern: study of the chemical-physical, enzymatic and sensorial composition both of raw and food processed; mathematical modeling for the control, optimization and sizing of conventional and innovative unit operations in the food industries; study of food processes within the main sectors of Mediterranean interest and in relation to the main "health" aspects as well as traditional food preparations; development of new food product; evaluation of the suitable packaging systems and assessment of their interactions with the chemical and enzymatic component of food products, as well as with the main sensorial parameters; study of consumer food choice and preferences.
The Microbiology Team’s research activities mainly dial with food microbiology. Fermented foods and beverages are studied and related lactic, acetic bacteria and yeasts are deeply investigated. Biotechnological application of microorganisms are explored with the aim to preserve food products and to develop innovative food and/or functional beverages. Pathogenic and/or spoilage microorganisms of food interest are also investigated. Other activities dial with the characterization of probiotic strains isolated from food matrices with the aim to study the influence of strains on the dynamics of human gut microbiota. The latest research activities regard vaginal microbiota, antibiotic resistance traits within the Enterococcus genus, and among Escherichia coli strains isolated from food of animal origins.