Foto del docente

Ilaria Braschi

Associate Professor

Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Academic discipline: AGR/13 Agricultural Chemistry

Research

Behaviour and transformation of pesticides in soil: hydrolysis, photolysis, and catalysis.
Sanitizing effect of myrosinase-glucosinolate system of Brassicaceae at root level and in soil.
Use of pectins for the remediation of soil from pesticides.
Protection and clean up of water bodies from veterinary drugs and hydrocarbons by means of mineral phases.
Release of contaminants from packaging in the environment and food.


- Behaviour and degradation of pesticides in soil. The study of the environmental fate of pesticides is carried out throught the analysis of adsorption and degradation mechanisms. Hydrolysis provides information on the stability of the active ingredient (a.i.) in aqueous solution at different pH values. Catalysis gives information on the degradation of a.i. in the presence of  natural catalysts or photosensitizers as clays, oxides and hydroxides, and organic matter. Photolysis  is useful to foresee the degradation of a.i. under sunlight and in the presence of photosensitizers usually present in the soil solution as the dissolved fraction of soil organic matter. The degradation kinetics along with the by-products identification helps to define the general degradation mechanism useful to foresee the environmental fate in different soil compartments.

- Sanitizing effect of mirosinase-glucosinolate system. Some defence systems of plants as that showed by Brassicaceae towards soil-borne pests have been considered for long time to face the fase-out of specific chemical fumigants as methylbromide, responsile among the others of warning environmental changes recorded in the last decades. Since unknown is the behaviour of mirosinase at the root level, this enzyme was immobilized into a simplified model of root mucigel (Ca-polygacturonate) and its activity analysed in soils differenty characterized in organic matter content and under different soil water potentials with important practical implications.

- Protection and remediation of water from veterinary drugs. The pollution of surface and deep waters by veterinary drugs usually depends on their persistence and marked mobility into the soil or on polluting point sources. The mobility of a pollutant can be described as macroscopic result of the weak forces by which it interacts with soil surfaces. Sulfamide antibiotics, mainly anionic under the pH values of natural waters and characterized by high mobility and persistence, are responsible for resistance phenomena in bacteria. Mineral phases of zeolitic type are used to detoxify waters from sulfamides due to the irreversible adsorption and the short adsorption time recorded.

- Release of packaging contaminants in food and environment. The discovery that some monomers released from plastic materials can interfere with the endocrine system launched the study on the release of contaminants from packaging, a problem which has been receiving the attention of the Research and Food Safety and Control Organs. Specific interest is focused on the study of thermal treatment (pasteurization or sterilization) and radiative treatment (microwaves or UV) on the migration to food and environment of anti-stick coatings, antistatics, antimicrobials, UV stabilizers, plastifiers, antioxidants, etc. released from composed plastic materials and multi-material plastics used in packaging and for shelf-life preservation.