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Santina Romani

Associate Professor

Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Academic discipline: AGR/15 Food Science and Technology

Research

Keywords: Food processing and quality Food packaging Innovative and sustainable packaging (edible coating, active, biodegradable) Modified atmospheres processing and packaging Shelf-life studies Food by-products & waste valorization Food design and development Traditional thermal processing (frying, baking, roasting, drying) Preserving combined technologies Minimisation strategies of toxic compounds (e.g. acrylamide) in foods Emerging technologies (Pulsed Electric Fields, Vacuum Impregnation, Osmotic Dehydration, Ultrasound) Innovative analytical techniques Technology and quality of fruit and vegetable products Minimally processed foods Technology and quality of bakery and starchy products Coffee and coffee beverages technology and quality

Research activity involve several aspects related to the processing, quality and stability of foods using a multidisciplinary approach and is mainly focused on the following topics:

- Optimization/innovation of processing conditions to obtain foods (e.g. minimally processed vegetables) with high quality and sustainability levels;

- Evaluation of food quality and safety changes due to conventional and novel processing and during storage;

- Formulation of new and novel foods: development and physico-chemical characterization (e.g. bakery products);

- Development and optimization of packaging solutions (e.g. modified atmosphere, active pack) and storage conditions to improve processing performances, shelf-life and quality of fresh, partially-processed and processed food;

- Shelf-life studies and assessment of differently packed foodstuffs: physical, chemical, enzymatic and sensorial decay modelling;

- Characterization of the state of water and its effect on properties and stability of food materials;

- Study of the chemical and physico-chemical characteristics of roasted coffee and coffee beverages;

- Study of chemical, physical, rheological and sensorial properties of dough, bread and bakery products as a function of different formulations and / or processing and storage conditions;

- Study of occurrence, prevention and minimization of toxic compounds (e.g. acrylamide) in foods.

Current research interests are focused on:

- Study on the application of emerging technologies (pulsed electric fields, vacuum impregnation, osmotic dehydration, ultrasound) for the processing of fruit and vegetables, with the main objectives to: improve safety, quality and functional properties of processed foods; induce targeted modification in food structures; improve the mass transfer processes, also of valuable compounds from biological matrices (food and food by-products).

- Study on the application of innovative and sustainable packaging solutions (edible coating, active, biodegradable) with the main objectives to: increase of shelf-life and quality level of different foods; reduction of food waste; increase the technological suitability of biodegradable materials; increase the food-packaging sustainability.

- Innovative strategies for the mitigation of acrylamide and other toxicants content in different food products (fried potatoes; coffee; bakery products).

More specific research interest can be described by the following keywords:

Food processing and quality; food packaging; innovative and sustainable packaging (edible coating, active, biodegradable); modified atmospheres processing and packaging; shelf-life studies; food by-products & waste valorisation; food design and development; traditional thermal processing (frying, baking, roasting, drying); preserving combined technologies; minimisation strategies of toxic compounds (e.g. acrylamide) in foods; emerging technologies (Pulsed Electric Fields, Vacuum Impregnation, Osmotic Dehydration, Ultrasound); innovative analytical techniques; technology and quality of fruit and vegetable products; minimally processed foods; technology and quality of bakery and starchy products; coffee and coffee beverages technology and quality.