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.
RESEARCH THEME "SENSORY PROFILING OF UNUSUAL FOODS"
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