Foto del docente

Fausto Gardini

Full Professor

Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Academic discipline: AGR/16 Agricultural Microbiology

Curriculum vitae

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 From the academic year 2012-2013 this last course has been replaced by the  course of “Microbial Biology" within the same degree.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 following:

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 microscopy, bioluminescence , 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 after fishing.

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 substances.

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 books.

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.

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