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Anna Badiani

Associate Professor

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences

Academic discipline: AGR/19 Animal Science


Keywords: Cooking-induced changes Muscle foods Nutritional quality Descriptive sensory analysis Discriminant tests Authenticity Freshness quality Edible insects Octopus vulgaris True Retention Coefficients Finfish and shellfish Sensory profiling of donkey milk Sensory outline of caviar from several Acipenser species and crosses Nutritional and sensorial features of farmed specimens of sole in comparison with the wild (and usual) typology

RESEARCH THEME "PLURISOLE": This research activity has be centred around the study of the nutritional profile of the common sole (Solea solea L.), a much sought-after flatfish species which in these years has been investigated with the aim to define its rearing techniques. Since this goal is not far from being reached, it has been our aim to compare the (usual) wild sole to (the new) farmed typology as to yields and nutrient contents at the raw and cooked state, as well as to evaluate the nutritional changes induced by moist-heat cooking. Proximate composition, fatty acid composition and macro- and microelement contents have been the determined nutrients. Moreover, the true retention values of each and every nutrient as mentioned above has been determined. While performing this part of the research project, it has been possible to select and prepare a 10-members group of paneliists, able to outline, in several sessions of “blind” working, two complete and distinct sensory profiles (as spiderwebs).

RESEARCH THEME "FISH SOURCES" It seems as if, in the near future, European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is going to exemplify a likely situation for most farmable fish species: the coexistence on the market of wild and farmed specimens, and within those farmed, of specimens issued from utterly different kind of farming approaches. Far beyond the scope of Reg. EC 2065/2001, but still within the frame of seafood traceability, a new need is up and coming: to tell the consumer where the fish (s)he wants to buy really comes from. Our team of researchers aims at verifying the usefulness of macro- and/or microelements, as well as of the fatty acid profiles of either total, neutral or polar lipids, to complement more complex instrumental measurements in order to allocate any given specimen of that species to its own origin.

RESEARCH THEME "RABBIT, RABBIT, RABBIT" This activity, still "alive and kicking" as to the publication of reaserch results, consists in giving expert advice and support to a competitive project put forward by several researchers from the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, which is titled "Shelf-life estimation of rabbit meat from animals fed diets enriched with antioxidants". The head of the project, which started during Spring 2013, was (and still is) Dr. Sabrina Albonetti. The support given to this project, apart "paper tayloring", has been in the field of carcass characterization for each of the five thesis, together with the definition of the main nutritional, functional and sensory traits of the meat.

RESEARCH THEME "OCTOPUSSY" This research activity, the results of which are still to be published, was prompted by the industrial world (the food industry, to be precise). There was a necessity to ascertain if and to what extent the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) could be distinguishable from similar species as to its nutrient contents and sensory traits. This research, the like of which, to our knowledge, has never been carried out before, required the determination of several macro- and micro-nutrients. At the same time, the sensory discrimination amongst those octopus species was verified through the sensory response (triangle test) of a good deal of normosensitive young people, all students from the Catering School in Cesenatico.

RESEARCH THEME "COMPARING REDDIES" - The very same agro-industrial firm urged us to ascertain if and to what extent striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) could be told apart from West African goatfish (Pseudupeneus prayensis), as to morphometry, nutritional characteristics and sensory traits. These activities too are still waiting to be published.


Recently a new research activity was undertaken, obviously following two different paths: the activity of preparing the sensory outline of foods which have never been described before, applied to donkey milk and to several species of edible insects, the former against a backdrop made of cow milk, goat milk, soy milk, rice drink and a proteic hydrolysate (in cooperation with the Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Pisa University, the Ospedale Pediatrico Meyer based in Firenze and the Kansas State University), the latter by comparison with what has been done with a good deal of fish species by a team of Chefs.

In both cases, sensory profiling meant to select, train and check two distinct ten-people panels, which proved to be quite an endeavor.


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