Maria Piochi

Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology

Phone: +39 0172 458509

University of Gastronomic Sciences | Pollenzo Campus
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, 9
fraz. Pollenzo – 12042 Bra (Cn) – Italy



Maria Piochi (Siena, 1986) earned in 2012 the Master’s Degree in Food Sciences and Oenology at the University of Florence, with a thesis entitled: ‘The sensory functionality of extra virgin olive oils’, which was partially carried out in collaboration with the Chemical-Commodity Laboratory of the Chamber of Commerce of Florence. For her thesis, she received the prize of the Italian Society of Sensory Sciences (SISS) for young researchers in 2013.

From 2013 to 2014, she was research fellow in the project “VALORVITIS – Valorization of the wine industry by-products for the production of high-added value compounds” (Ager Project, n. 2010-2222) at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG), studying the sensory properties of functionalized products through the addition of flours rich in fiber and biophenols obtained from by-products of the enological chain.

In 2018, she obtained the PhD in Sustainable Management of Agricultural, Forest and Food Resources at the University of Florence with a thesis entitled: ‘Indices of individual variation in taste responsiveness’. In 2016, she was awarded with the SISS Young Researchers Award.

Since June 2019, she has been a fixed-term researcher in food science and technology at UNISG, where she teaches this subject in the various study courses.

Her research interests focus on the perceptual mechanism of flavor in humans and its influence on perception, preferences and eating behaviors. More generally, they focus on food technologies with particular attention to sensory sciences and individual variability.

Over the years, she has worked as a scientific collaborator for various companies in the food sector (Lavazza, Pernigotti, Consorzio Terre di Montagna, Novi, Cirfood, etc.).

Since 2011, she has been a member of the Italian Society of Sensory Sciences (SISS) and since 2019 a member of the Sensory Science Society (E3S) in the working group relating to “Taste Responsiveness”. Since 2020, he is a member of SISTAL – Italian Society of the Italian Society of Food Sciences and Technologies.



  • Delegate for external training
  • Delegate for the ERASMUS program



  • Food Science and Technology [Graduate Degree in Food Innovation & Management]
  • Preparatory Workshops [Graduate Degree in Food Innovation & Management]
  • Tecnologie alimentary [Undergraduate Degree in Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures]
  • Pratiche di Viaggio ed Esperienze sul Campo – I Anno [Undergraduate Degree in Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures]
  • Fast Food Law and Technology [Undergraduate Degree in Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures]



Perception and quality



  • Theory of Perception
  • Oral (gustatory and trigeminal) and olfactory responsiveness
  • Individual variability
  • Behaviors and food preferences
  • Sensory characterization of food and drink
  • Food science and technology
  • Vegetable oils
  • Functional foods




Publications Report >