PhD student profile, Diego Patricio Suárez Estrella

PhD Student: Diego Patricio Suárez Estrella


Tutor: Prof. M. Ambrogina Pagani – Defens

Dean: Prof. Francesco Bonomi

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition


Research topic

Biotechnological processes suitable for producing foods with high functional properties from cereals and pseudocereals


Project Synopsis

This PhD project is aimed at the exploitation of Andean grains in cereal-based products, mainly bread with and without gluten. The attention is focused on quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), a pseudocereal of the Amaranthaceae family, that is appreciated for the high nutritional qualities of its proteins, and the vitamin and mineral content. Despite these positive characteristics, some anti-nutritional factors are present in quinoa seeds, in particular saponins, a class of components with bitter and astringent properties. In order to decrease their content, some processes, such as washing, pearling and air flowing, have been applied. This project proposes the assessment of bio-technological processes, such as fermentation and/or sprouting, for decreasing the amount of saponins on quinoa seeds and, at the same time, enhancing their nutritional characteristics and uses in food formulations around the world.

pearled and germinated quinoa


Project keywords

quinoa, fermentation, sprouting, saponins



Via G. Celoria, n. 2 – 20133 Milano, Italy



Dr. Alessandra Marti – Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences / Università degli Studi di Milano



Fellowship sponsor: Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación. Ecuador



Oral presentation: Cereal-based products from Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Journal Club 2016, University of Milan, June 17, 2016

Poster: Cereal-based products from Andean grains. 21st Workshop on the Developments in the Italian PhD Research on Food Science Technology and Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Portici, September 14th-16th, 2016

cereal analysis



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