Fausto Gardini is full Professor of Microbiology in the
scientific disciplinary sector 07/F2 (former AGR/16) and carries
out his activities in Cesena, at the Campus of Food Science
(University of Bologna) of the Department of Agriculture and Food
Science. Its didactic activity until academic year 2011-2012
comprehends the course of " Microbial Diagnostic and
Predictive Microbiology" in the Master degree in Food Science and
Technology and the course of "Industrial Microbiology" in the
Bachelor degree in Food Technology. From the academic year
2012-2013 this last course has been replaced by the course of
“Microbial Biology" within the same degree.
In the last years his activity has regarded different arguments
of food microbiology. The principal fields of interest were the
1) Physiological responses of microorganisms subjected to stress
conditions, specifically directed to the ability of yeasts and
bacteria to modulate the membrane lipid composition as a response
to unfavorable environmental conditions.
2) Set up and application of non conventional microbiological
analysis methodology with the aim to evaluate the microbial cell
concentration and the metabolic potential of the different
micro-organisms in food systems. In particular, some analytical
methods alternative to plate counts were investigated which can be
considered rapid, simple, low cost and can be automated. Besides
methods already described in literature (direct epif luorescence
, MicroFoss), the attention was focused on the set up of an
indirect method based on the gas-chromatographic determination of
CO2 produced by metabolism of food-related microorganisms. Because
of its rapidity and reliability, this method resulted suitable as a
counting method alternative to traditional procedures and, in
particular, an effective screening method to evaluate the potential
of microorganism in environments characterized by specific
selective factor and culture starter selection.
3) Use of predictive microbiology to evaluate the microbial
stability of foods in relation to the control factors applied. In
particular, models for growth description (Gompertz and Baranyi
models), models for inactivation (Weibull equation) and
probabilistic models (log linear models and logistic regression
models) were studied. This approach was applied to principal fields
of research here reported, also using rapid methods of microbial
control and molecular techniques.
4) Study of factors affecting the microbial quality of fishery
products in relation to fishing conditions and treatments applied
5) Study of antimicrobial activity of natural compounds; the
interest was focused on antimicrobial activity of essential oil
(and of their single constituents such as citral, carvacrol,
linalool) e lipoxygenase products (i.e. hexanal and (E)-2-hexenal).
Firstly, their in vitro antimicrobial activity was studied,
in order to better understand the active mechanism e factors
increasing their toxicity against microorganisms; then the
possibility to use them as constituents of non conventional
modified atmospheres on fruit-based foods; finally their potentials
as antimicrobials in combination with other treatments (thermal
treatments) was investigated, in order to evaluate the presence of
synergic interaction and to reduce the negative impact of thermal
treatments on costs and product quality.
6. Study of dairy fermented food microbial populations (cheese
and fermented milk), with particular attention to characteristic
definition for the selection of starter microorganisms and the role
of non-starter microorganisms in the production and maturation of
these products and the characteristics of microbial population in
relation to the production conditions, ripening and storage.
7. Evaluation of the effects of fermentation processes on
quality and safety of dry fermented sausages, with particular
attention on the role of selected cultures and of wild
microorganisms during ripening. In particular, attention was
focused on the role of adopted conditions during the first
phase of fermentation and on their effects on ripening
process, especially on aroma compound production.
8. Biogenic amines production in fermented products has been
thoroughly investigated by studying the role of process conditions
and the use of specific microorganisms for the reduction of these
The first part of the research was addressed to the
determination of biogenic amines presence in different products
(i.e. wine, salami, cheeses) in relation to the production process.
Subsequently, the activity of a tyramine producer
Enterococcus strain has been studied in deep in salami,
developing a rapid genetic assay for the tyrosine decarboxylase
gene detection and expression. Moreover, the role of
Streptococcus thermophilus in histamine production in
cheeses has been investigated for the first time by characterizing
a histamine decarboxylase positive strain, starting from the
genetic aspects up to histamine accumulation in cheese.
9. Fermented foods of animal origin as potential reservoir of
microorganisms with multiresistance to antibiotics.
10. Study of yeast degradation potential in vegetable
products (beverages and minimally processed fruits) with the aim of
identifying unconventional strategies for the stabilization of
these products and reducing the thermal damage.
He is co-author of over 100 scientific papers published on
international journals, articles published in national magazines
and others of dissemination characteristics. At least 90 of these
works are cited in WoS and Scopus. It is also author or co-author
of chapters of food microbiology on some national and international
It was responsible for research units of CNR project and of
programs founded by the Ministry of University and Research and
Ministry of Agriculture. Moreover, he participated at projects
funded by the European Community.
He had different institutional positions. He has been director
of the Center for Viticulture and Oenology researches (CRIVE) of
University of Bologna and he is responsible for Process, Food,
Consumptions and Health Area in the Interdepartmental Centre
of Industrial Agrifood Research (CIRI) in the same University.