PhD student profile, Paolo D’Incecco

PhD Student:  Paolo D’Incecco



Tutor: Luisa Pellegrino (DeFENS), Franco Faoro (DiSAA)

Dean: Francesco Bonomi

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition

PhD title achieved on: 4th April 2017


Research topic

Chemical, biochemical, microbiological, and technological aspects of emerging cheese defects


Project Synopsis

The PhD project focuses on the late blowing defect in Grana Padano cheese and the main responsible agent Clostridium tyrobutyricum. Chemical, microbiological, immunochemical and ultrastructural aspects were investigated to study the nature of interactions among fat globules promoting their clustering and agglutination of Cl. tyrobutyricum during the natural creaming of raw milk prior to cheese making. Cheese makings using intentionally contaminated milk were performed at both laboratory and industrial scale to study the behaviour of Cl. tyrobutyricum in terms of survival of vegetative cells, metabolic pathways and induction of sporulation. Understanding some phenomena taking place in milk during creaming and allowing its natural healing from Cl. tyrobutyricum and the achievement of new details about the behaviour of this spoiling bacterium during cheese manufacturing and ripening were the main aims of this project.


Project keywords

fat globules, cheese microstructure, cheese making, Clostridium tyrobutyricum.



Dipartimento di Scienze per gli Alimenti, la Nutrizione e L’Ambiente (DeFENS)

Università degli Studi di Milano

Via Celoria 2, 20133 MILANO

tel. 02 503 16679




Dr. Milena Brasca, Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Milano, Italia

Dr. Angelo Stroppa, Consorzio di Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano DOP, Desenzano del Garda, Italia

Prof. Monica Gatti, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Animali, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italia

Prof. Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Istituto di Microbiologia, Università Cattolica di Piacenza, Piacenza, Italia

Dr. Katrin Schrader, Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish Products, Max Rubner Institute, Kiel, Germany

Prof. Sally Grass, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano



D’Incecco, P., Gatti, M., Hogenboom, J. A., Bottari, B., Rosi, V., Neviani, E., & Pellegrino, L. (2016). Lysozyme affects the microbial catabolism of free arginine in raw-milk hard cheeses. Food microbiology57, 16-22. DOI: 10.1016/

D’Incecco, P., Limbo, S., Faoro, F., Hogenboom, J., Rosi, V., Morandi, S., & Pellegrino, L. (2016). New insight on crystal and spot development in hard and extra-hard cheeses: Association of spots with incomplete aggregation of curd granules. Journal of dairy science. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2016-11050

Pellegrino, L., Rosi, V., D’Incecco, P., Stroppa, A., & Hogenboom, J. A. (2015). Changes in the soluble nitrogen fraction of milk throughout PDO Grana Padano cheese-making. International Dairy Journal47, 128-135. DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2015.03.002

D’Incecco, P., Faoro, F., Silvetti, T., Schrader, K., & Pellegrino, L. (2015). Mechanisms of Clostridium tyrobutyricum removal through natural creaming of milk: A microscopy study. Journal of dairy science98 (8), 5164-5172. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2015-9526

Confalonieri, R., Stella, T., Dominoni, P., Frasso, N., Consolati, G., Bertoglio, M., …D’Incecco, P., & Cozzaglio, G. (2014). Impact of Agromanagement Practices on Rice Elongation: Analysis and Modelling. Crop Science54 (5), 2294-2302. DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2014.02.0116


Oral presentations at international congresses

“Shedding light on crystals and white spots in cheese” – P. D’Incecco, S. Limbo, F. Faoro, J. Hogenboom, V. Rosi, L. Pellegrino. 3th International Multidisciplinary Microscopy and Microanalysis Congress – InterM –  Oludeniz, 2015.

“Lysozyme side effects in Grana Padano PDO cheese: new perspective after 30 years using” – P. D’Incecco, M. Gatti, J.A. Hogenboom, E. Neviani, V. Rosi, M. Santarelli, L. Pellegrino. 9th Cheese Symposium, International Dairy Federation. Cork (IR), 2014.

“The late blowing defect in Grana Padano PDO cheese: effects of milk natural creaming and cheese making conditions”- P. D’Incecco. Dairy Innovation Hub Workshop – University of Queensland – Brisbane – 29 June 2016.


Oral presentations at national Congresses

“Formazioni cristalline in formaggi extra duri: ruolo della tecnologia”. Paolo D‘Incecco. Universo Latte: Giovani Ricercatori e Imprese a Confronto. Piacenza, 17 – 18 marzo 2016.


Poster at national Workshops

“Clostridium tyrobutyricum behaviour during Grana Padano cheese making”. D’Incecco P. XX Workshop on the developments in the Italian PhD Research on Food Science Technology and Biotechnology. University of Perugia, Perugia, 23-25 September 2015.

“The late blowing defect in Grana Padano PDO cheese: effects of milk natural creaming and cheese making conditions”. D’Incecco P. XIX Workshop on the developments in the Italian PhD Research on Food Science Technology and Biotechnology. University of Bari, Bari, 24-26 September 2014.



The research activity has been conducted across different countries. Advanced microscopic techniques have implemented this study and have been used at either the Max-Rubner Institute in Germany (1 month) or the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia (7 months).



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