PhD student profile, Elisa Rocchi

PhD Student: Elisa Rocchi


Tutor: Laura Piazza – DeFENS

Dean: Francesco Bonomi

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition

PhD title achieved on: 18th December 2018


Research topic

Recovery of agri-food byproducts for the development of novel foods.


Project Synopsis

This project aims to promote vegetal materials, recovered from agro/food wastes, as new solutions in formulation technology. These materials are able to exert a multiplicity of striking functional properties, even contextually, thanks to specific structures result of self-assembly processes. Despite the use of such structures is widely advocated, the overall functionality exerted into food products is still to be defined.

In particular this thesis is focused on two different materials: cell wall materials and nanocrystalline cellulose, and the main objective is to design innovative food ingredients by coupling multiple functionalities (such as texturizing ability and bioactives carrier) into a single additive.

The experimental activity is based on a physico-chemical characterization of the materials and of their behavior (primarily through rheological, rheo-optical, kinetics studies). The subsequent mathematical and physical modeling of experimental data will supply a predictive tool for further scale-up from lab to full-scale.


Project keywords

material science, self-assembly, plant materials, food rheology



Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133, Milano

Phone: (+39) 0250319232



Department of Medical Biotechnologies and Translational Medicine (L.I.T.A.) – University of Milano, Italy

Chemistry, Material and Chemical Engineering Department “Giulio Natta” (CMIC) – Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture –  Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano



Gorji, E.G., Rocchi, E., Schleining, G., Bender-Bojalil, D., Furtmüller, P.G., Piazza, L., Iturri, J.J. and Toca-Herrera, J.L., 2015. Characterization of resveratrol–milk protein interaction. Journal of Food Engineering167, pp.217-225. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2015.05.032


Proceedings of National and International Conferences

Adal, E., Moilanen, H., Rocchi, E., Damerau, A., Lampi, A., Piironen, V., Piazza, L. & Jouppila, K. Oxidation of encapsulated camelina oil. Oral presentation at 1st Congress on Food Structure Design, 15-17 October 2014.  Porto, Portugal.

Rocchi, E., Zanchetta G.& Piazza, L. (2016) Rheo-optical characterization of cellulose nanocrystals suspensions extracted from waste plant biomass. Oral presentation at Italian Soft Days – Second Edition, 23-24 June 2016. Milan, Italy.

Rocchi, E. (2016) Preliminary data on Cell Wall Material intended as micro-reactor for in situ-preparation and targeted delivery of active components. Poster presentation at 21th Workshop on the Developments in the Italian PhD Research on Food Science Technology and Biotechnology14-16 September 2016. Portici, Italy.

Piazza L., Rocchi E., Malegori C., Mazzitelli D., Picozzi C., Ortenzi M.A., Gazzotti S., Altomare A., Orioli M. & Carini M. (2016) BOMBYX project: Valorisation of high value proteins and lipids extracted from silkworm pupae. Oral presentation at 30th EFFoST Conference, 26-28 November 2016. Vienna

Rocchi, E., Romano D., Malgori C. & Piazza L. (2016) Assessment of physico-chemical properties of bacterial nanocellulose intended for food formulations improvement. Poster presentation at 30th EFFoST Conference, 26-28 November 2016. Vienna, Austria.



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