The Pollenzo Food Lab of the University of Gastronomic Sciences is the laboratory dedicated to the study and applied research of gastronomic transformations. It deals with training, academic research, consultancy for companies and third mission.

The Pollenzo Food Lab was born in 2014 as a meeting point between culinary theories and practices thanks to the synergy between University professors and professionals in the gastronomic sector. Over time it has been enriched thanks to collaborations with former students, researchers, artisans and food production and catering companies, configuring itself as a multidisciplinary pole of experimentation and a multifunctional collector of experiences and contributions. Thus he becomes the promoter of a network of professionals who work for sustainability and sovereignty in the kitchen.

The method


The spaces of the laboratory, built like an agora in which knowledge can be exchanged horizontally, see theory and practice coexist in a single environment, made up of a classroom dedicated to theoretical lessons, a teaching kitchen for practical exercises, a professional for experimental use equipped with the most advanced technologies.

The main activities on which the work of the Pollenzo Food Lab is concentrated are teaching and training – aimed at spreading among future gastronomes and professionals a complex knowledge capable of supporting and stimulating virtuous changes – and research – for the development and definition of food systems in which conscious pleasure, nutritional quality and social and environmental sustainability converge.

 

The teaching


The teachings of the training offer of the Pollenzo Food Lab are aimed at students of the three-year, master’s and master’s degree courses of the University of Gastronomic Sciences.

In the Pollenzo Food Lab the following take place:

  • the practical exercises of the Molecular Sciences and Taste courses, Gastronomic Planning Sciences and the optional courses Learning to Like and Gastronomic Criticism in the three-year degree course in Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures;
  • the practical exercises of the courses of Food Science and Technology and Systemic Design for Circular Economy in the Master’s Degree in Food Innovation and Management.
  • the Farm to Table Workshops foreseen in the Master of Gastronomy: World Food Culture and Mobility course

The activities carried out in the Pollenzo Food Lab follow an educational model based on active and experiential learning whose purpose is to support the full understanding of gastronomic processes. This systemic approach, based on the disciplines of gastronomic sciences, cultural biodiversity and social and environmental responsibility, ensures that students acquire a method that will allow them to be free to develop personal and creative paths in their professional future.

The Pollenzo Food Lab is also a practical and theoretical point of reference for students who have degree thesis projects related to the study of recipes, transformation processes, menu development and catering systems.

 

Research


The Pollenzo Food Lab, in collaboration with other Italian and foreign universities and research institutions, is involved in numerous research projects dedicated to the dissemination of a correct, sustainable food style for man and the planet, focusing largely on the educational implications of younger sections of society.

The research areas of the Pollenzo Food Lab are currently oriented towards:

  • Circular Economy applied to Food – development of strategies and models for sustainability in the transformation phase; criticalisation and optimization of processes and relationships for the reduction of waste and their re-functionalization (upcycling).
  • One Health and sustainable diet – study and development of food systems, recipes and menus in which pleasure, nutritional quality, seasonality, biodiversity and gastronomic identities converge.
  • Food literacy and the study of cooking as an educational tool – strategies for food and taste education in school and preschool age; development of multidisciplinary educational models for teaching communities and gastronomic paths of progressive exposure in the family environment and school meals.
  • Social inclusion – development of educational and informative formats aimed at using the kitchen as a tool for inclusion and empowerment.

The research projects financed by competitive tenders that have involved and still involve the staff of the Pollenzo Food Lab on the aforementioned topics are:

 

 

Third Mission – Research and consultancy on third party orders


In close contact with companies and partner organizations of the University, the Pollenzo Food Lab is involved in the development of training courses and applied research and consultancy projects aimed at strategic players in the food sector.

This activity aims to strengthen the synergy between academic research and the productive world, disseminating and applying the most recent studies in the field of Applied Gastronomic Sciences and contributing to the innovation and implementation of gastronomic products and services.

The Pollenzo Food Lab offers training courses on Sustainable and Ecological Cooking and Applied Gastronomic Sciences to organizations and institutes; develops and proposes professional refresher courses for chefs and teachers; deals with supporting creative review operations and implementation of work processes in the field of cooking and transformation.

The collaboration and support to companies in the gastronomic sector also takes the form of applied research and consultancy projects aimed at developing innovative systemic solutions for the diffusion of healthy lifestyles and for the reduction of food waste and the upcycling of raw materials, with special reference to:

  • innovation and implementation of production processes (introduction and enhancement of new products/ingredients within the production process; selection of raw materials; definition and modeling of the production process to obtain shared sensory and nutritional results; study, test and implementation of transformation technologies);
  • product development (tests and focus groups; creative support; development of new products and related recipe development)
  • development of menus and study of recipes (revision and implementation of existing recipes; elaboration of menus and gastronomic proposals – with particular reference to collective catering, modeling of production systems; definition of recipes for specific transformations/marketing).
  • development of training models

 

 

Publications


  • Il Chilometro Consapevole. Definire la sostenibilità a partire dalla Tavola, Carlo Catani e Carlo Petrini, Slow Food Editore (2022).
  • Circular Cooking Poised Between Tradition and Innovation, Franco Fassio, Nadia Tecco, Carol Povigna, Nahuel Buracco in Renewable Matter nr. 37 (July-Sept. 2021).
  • Cibo per l’inclusione. Pratiche di gastronomia per l’accoglienza, a cura di Maria Giovanna Onorati, Franco Angeli Editore (2020).
  • Un’alimentazione sana che ti sia amica, Aned Onlus (2020)
  • Cuisine and education: the Applied Gastronomic Sciences as a tool in food literacy. Carol Povigna, Matteo Bigi, Nahuel Buracco, Anna Marie Fisker, Gabriella Morini. In fase di pubblicazione (2023)

 

The structure


The Pollenzo Food Lab is divided into communicating macro areas that reflect the connection between theories, practices and professional and research activity.

For educational and training activities are available:

  • The classroom for theoretical lessons with 25 seats, equipped with computers and projection screens.
  • The practice room, made up of 4 work islands (3 intended for students capable of accommodating a maximum of 8 people each + 1 demonstration station) which can be equipped and declined according to the topics covered and the need for experimentation thanks to the presence of 25 free-standing induction plates, 7 semi-professional ovens, 3 sinks, 3 refrigerators and all the necessary small parts.

For research and applied research activities, the following are available:

  • The fully equipped professional kitchen equipped with: convection oven, microwave oven, multi-level bread oven, blast chiller, leavening compartment, roller laminator, professional induction hobs, burners, kettles/bain marie, spiral mixer, double arm mixer, meat mincer, bagging machine, vacuum machine, 2GN positive refrigerated cabinet and structure for storing buckets, utensil washers and glass washers, as well as sinks, worktops and all the necessary small parts.
  • The research office equipped with: fermentation cell, positive/negative blast chiller, distiller, Soxhlet extractor, smoker, dryer, juicer, laboratory centrifuge, ultrasonic extractor, stone mill, oxygenator, Brix meter, pH meter.

 

 

Contacts


Prof.ssa Gabriella Morini – Scientific manager 

Dott.ssa Carol Povigna – Coordinator and technical manager 

Nahuel Buracco – Co-Coordinator and research technician 

Dott. Matteo Bigi – Researchera nd research technician 

pollenzofoodlab@unisg.it  

 +39 366 691 9073

 

 

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