PhD student profile, Noemi Sofia Rabitti

PhD Student: Noemi Sofia Rabitti (ORCID n. 0000-0002-8710-099X)

Noemi Sofia Rabitti (cycle 36)


Supervisor: Prof. Monica Laureati – DeFENS

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition


Research topic

Sensory and consumer science for the development of new, healthy and sustainable foods

Project Synopsis

Food preferences are the result of the combined effect of environment (exposure and experience) and genetic predisposition, which together play a central role in food selection and diet quality. There are large differences in how we perceive the sensory properties of foods and beverages with the obvious consequence that people greatly differ in what they like and eat. Moreover, inter-individual differences in taste, olfaction and the somatosensory system may have significant consequences on human health. A better understanding of the factors involved in sensory perception and food preference may contribute to the comprehension of the risk factors related to non-communicable diseases as well as the development of new sustainable and healthy food formulations. The overall aim of this project is to study individual variation in food perception and preference and its implication in consumer eating behavior and health status.


Project keywords

Consumer science, sensory science, nutrition



DeFENS – Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences

Università degli Studi di Milano

Via Mangiagalli 25, Milan (MI), 20133

Tel: +39 0250319175





Nicola Pirastu, Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh

Eleanor Winpenny, Senior Researcher Associate, Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) at the University of Cambridge

Nick Timpson, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Bristol

Rebecca Ford, Associate Professor in Sensory and Consumer Science at the University of Nottingham

Pernilla Sandvik, Associate senior lecturer at the department of food studies, nutrition, and dietetics at Uppsala University

Susanne Neugart, Full Professor at the Division of Quality and Sensory of Plant Products at the University og Göttingen

Joachim Schouteten, Lecturer at Ghent University


Collaborations within the Department

Prof. Maria Grazia Fortina

Prof. Alessandra Marti



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano



Appiani M., Rabitti N.S., Proserpio C., Pagliarini E., Laureati M. (2021). Tartary Buckwheat: A new plant-based ingredient to enrich corn – based gluten – free formulations. Foods, 10(11), 2613.

Rabitti N.S., Appiani M., Cattaneo C., Ford R., Laureati M. (2021). Assessment of spatial lingual tactile sensitivity using a gratings orientation test. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 171, e62898.


Collaborative papers:

Korcari D., Secchiero R., Laureati M., Marti A., Cardone G., Rabitti N.S., Ricci G., Fortina M.G. (2021). Technological properties, shelf life and consumer preference of spelt-based sourdough bread using novel, selected starter cultures. LWT, 151, 112097.


Communications to congresses (*Presenting author)

Oral presentation:

Appiani M., Rabitti N.S., Methven L., Ford R., Wæhrens S., Bredie W., Laureati M. (2020). Assessment of oral tactile sensitivity in adults and children: relationship with texture preference and eating behaviour. A cross-cultural study in UK and Italy. 9th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, December 13-16, 2020.



Appiani M., Rabitti N.S., Methven L., Cattaneo C., Laureati M. (2020). Methodological approaches to measure lingual tactile sensitivity in adults and children: association with food neophobia, food texture preferences and consumption. 9th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, December 13-16,  2020.

Rabitti N.S.*, Appiani M., Proserpio C., Pagliarini E., Laureati M. (2021). Identification of drivers of acceptance and rejection of new functional and sustainable plant-based ingredients. The case of tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum). 14 th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, ONLINE: Live and On – demand, August 9-12, 2021.


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