Project Proposal

Research groups with specific expertise on the Topic seeking a Consortium/project Coordinator to implement scientific activities and/or coordinating a Work Package:

"Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences"

1) The research group of Chemistry, Instrumental and Sensory Analyses of Foods is concerned with developing and applying conventional, as well as innovative, instrumental and sensory analyses for the evaluation of quality, authenticity and characterization of food products. Moreover, the research group is involved in the development of sustainable, rapid and innovative methods of food analysis, as well as in the extraction and characterization of by-products and side streams obtained from the agri-food industry, with specific attention to the sustainable technologies and the recovery of bioactive compounds. Indeed, the research group is involved in the characterization of olive mill wastewater with a view to their valorization. The research group collaborates with several sustainable and virtuous industrial olive oil mills that pay particular attention to the reuse of by-products in a circular economy perspective. These skills can be transferred into protocols for modifying/improving the behaviour of citizens in the context of sustainability at home. In collaboration with household appliance manufacturing companies, it will be possible to develop dynamics for improving citizens' sustainability habits.

2) The research group has expertise in Behavioural economics related to food choice. We dealt with consumers' research using both quantitative (CAWI) and qualitative (FOCUS GROUPS) approaches. We are currently involved in two HORIZON 2020 projects and one PRIMA project on similar issues (consumers' preferences, attitudes, change of behaviour). We have also expertise in food retailers' strategies.

3) The research group is mainly interested in agricultural machinery. They have been carrying out several projects together with the major worldwide manufacturers of agricultural machinery on different topics. In relation to the topic, they have been monitoring a fleet of more than 20 agricultural machineries (i.e. tractors, combine and forage harvesters) equipped with CANBUS/ISOBUS technologies for years. All the machinery developed in the last 10 years are equipped with several sensors which can be used for automatically monitoring all the input (i.e., fertilizers, seeds, agrochemicals) and the output (i.e., yield) applied in fields where fully mechanized crops are grown (i.e., corn, wheat, barley) and the traffic of machinery on soils. This can be easily carried out on even on large field areas. We have developed proper algorithms to automatically classify data in function of the field, crop, soil rotations, etc. This permits us to make analysis on several types of soil treatments and to identify any mispractice of farmers. Moreover, we have a strong knowledge of the evaluation of soil compaction induced by machinery traffic. We are also quite active in divulgation activities with the major Italian magazines on agricultural machinery.