PhD student profile, Agostina Colacicco

PhD Student: Agostina Colacicco (ORCID n. 0000-0003-2780-0668)


Supervisor: Dr. Martina Letizia Contente (DeFENS)

Co-tutor: Prof. Francesco Molinari

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Chemistry and Biochemistry


Research topic:

From agriculture residues to high-value products: green approaches for their extraction, (bio)transformation and large scale preparation


Project Synopsis:

Starting from agricultural waste (e.g., soy plant residues, olive trees, vanilla plants, and citrus plant residues), green technologies will be used for the extraction and transformation of key glycosides.

Employing extremophilic enzymes, the corresponding aglycones possessing higher bioactive effects on human health as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds will be obtained. According to FDA and EMA regulations, processing these molecules through biocatalytic approaches allows them to be considered and commercialized as natural.

After a batch mode optimization, process implementation will be carried out by employing enzyme immobilization techniques and biocatalyst incorporation in flow chemistry reactors. The combination of these two strategies allows for improved catalyst stability and increased process sustainability and productivity.


Project keywords:

Waste recycling, biocatalysis, enzyme immobilization, flow chemistry.



laboratory address: Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS)

email address:



Prof. Stefano Farris DEFENS



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano (PNRR funded project “AGRITECH” Spoke 8)

Project sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano (PNRR funded project “AGRITECH” Spoke 8)



Donzella, S., Colacicco, A., Nespoli, L., & Contente, M. L. (2022). Mimicking Natural Metabolisms: Cell‐Free Flow Preparation of Dopamine. ChemBioChem, 23(24), e202200462. (



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