Raffaella Di Cagno


Raffaella Di Cagno

Faculty of Science and Technology, Libera Universitá di Bolzano, Piazza dell\’Universitá 3, 39100, Bolzano, Italy

Fermentations may lead to significant changes to the health-promoting features to plant foods. The lactic acid fermentation is the most widespread. The axis ‘fermented plant foods — human health’ is easily conceivable because of the inherent chemical composition of raw plant matrices, and the metabolic and functional versatility of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) [1]. Although vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of health promoting components, various anti-nutritional factors (e.g. oxalate, protease, condensed tannins, and phytic acid) are present. Such plant inherent reservoirs enable LAB and yeasts to follow various metabolic routes, which figure as a complex labyrinth where specific microbial enzymes for targeted substrates are involved [2]. The winding metabolic pathways involve several secondary plant metabolites (e.g. phenolics, fatty acids) [3]. The way out of the labyrinth coincides with the success of those paths, resulting in fermented plant foods enriched with high bio-accessible bioactive compounds and/or with weak amounts of antinutritional factors. However, as a newly discovered bacterial group, fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) are gaining increasing interest [4]. In fact, the wide frequency of isolation of FLAB from fructose-rich habitats (e.g., flowers, fruits, fermented foods, fructose feeding insects) has been deepened to reveal their ecological significance. The success of these plant-based fermentations is connected to the adaptive growth and survival of microorganisms. A panel of various interacting omics approaches unraveled the specific traits of microorganisms to adapt to plants, which allow the optimal design of fermentation strategies for targeted raw matrices.


[1]  R. Di Cagno, P. Filannino, M. Gobbetti, in Novel Food Fermentation Technologies, K.S. Ojha, B.K Tiwari (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, 2016, p. 279.

[2]  P. Filannino, R. Di Cagno, M. Gobbetti. Curr. Opinion Biotechnol., 49 (2018) 64–72.

[3]  A.F. Sanchez-Maldonado, A. Schieber, M.G. Gänzle. J. Appl. Microbiol. 111 (2011) 1176-1184.

[4]  P. Filannino, R. Di Cagno, A.Z.A. Tlais, V. Cantatore, M. Gobbetti. Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 45 (2019) 65-81.

Raffaella Di Cagno

CV: Nata a Bari, Italia 1970. Laurea magistrale in Scienze Agrarie, Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro (1995-1996) con votazione 110/110 con Lode; Dottorato di Ricerca in Biochimica Vegetale, “Scuola Superiore S. Anna”, Pisa (2000). Attività professionale: Assegnista di ricerca in microbiologia degli alimenti, Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, delle Piante e degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro (2000–2004); Ricercatore Universitario in Microbiologia Agraria presso la stessa Università (2004-2015), Professore associato presso la stessa Università (2015-2016); Professore associato, Libera Università di Bolzano (LUB) (2017-2021); Professore Ordinario, LUB (2021-ad oggi). Attività didattica: Professore di Microbiologia degli Alimenti, LUB; membro del Dottorato internazionale in Food, Engineering and Biotechnology LUB. Attività di ricerca: periodo di ricerca presso l’Institute Advanced Crop Research, Londra; supervisore delle attività di ricerca presso il Centre International De Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes; Membro e/o coordinatore di numerosi progetti nazionali e internazionali (Susfood, JPI, Horizon 2020). Bibliografia: 192 lavori peer-reviewed, H index 62, 10709 citazioni, 9 patenti, editore di un libro Springer. Inoltre: delegata della Società Italiana di Microbiologia Agroalimentare e Ambientale per la FEMS; 2021–ad oggi, membro del comitato scientifico Science Foundation Ireland VistaMilk-Teagasc Cork, Irlanda.

Raffaella Di Cagno

CV: Born in Bari, Italy 1970. She graduated in Agricultural Science, at University of Bari A. Moro, she is got good mark (110/110 lode) (1995-1996); PhD degree in Plant Biochemistry at “Scuola Superiore S. Anna” Pisa (2000). Working activity: post doc in food microbiology at the Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari (2000–2004); tenured researcher at the same University (2004-2015); tenured associate professor at the same university (2015-2016); tenured associate professor, LUB (2017-2021); full professor LUB (2021-to date). Teaching activity: Professor of Food Microbiology; member of the international Ph.D on Food Engineering and Biotechnology; Research work: research period at the Institute Advanced Crop Research, London; supervisor of research activities at the Centre International De Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes; Member and/or coordinator of several national and international projects (Susfood, JPI, Horizon 2020). Bibliography: 192 peer-reviewed papers, H index 62, 10709 citations, 9 patents, editor of a Springer book. Additionally: delegate of the Italian Society of Agro-Food and Environmental Microbiology for FEMS; member of the Evaluation Centre LUB; 2021-to date, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Science Foundation Ireland, VistaMilk Teagasc, Cork, Ireland.