PhD student profile, Elena Anna Ferrucci

PhD Student: Elena Anna Ferrucci (ORCID n. 0000-0002-2448-325X)

Elena Anna Ferrucci_profile picture

Supervisor: Prof. Stefania Arioli – DeFENS

Co-tutor: Dr. Eric Oriol – Lesaffre International S.A.S.

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition


Research topic

Probiotics and Food associated microorganisms: ecology, molecular and functional characterization, impact on host health


Project Synopsis

In the agri-food industry, waste disposal of spent media coming from microbial biomass production is a critical point. Thousands of liters of spent media are discarded, even though still rich in sugars, organic acids, proteins, peptides, amino acids and vitamins. It implies a double issue: a waste of nutrients and the high environmental impact of their disposal.

This project is devoted to the recycle and valorization of exhausted industrial media derived from the biomass production of traditional probiotics: spent media will be used as source of purified fractions to enrich or formulate optimized media needed for biomass production of next generation probiotics (NGPs). The effect of media enrichment on the NGPs biomass yield will be assessed and compared to the in-use industrial medium. Media optimization done at laboratory scale, up to 1L-bioreactor, will be followed by a scale-up at industrial level.


Project keywords

Next generation probiotics, recycle, agri-food waste, media optimization



Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS) – Università degli Studi di Milano


Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133 Milano – Italy





Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano, Lesaffre International SAS

Project sponsor: Lesaffre International S.A.S.



Conference: Marzorati F, Morandini P, Di Silvestre D, Ferrucci E A, Vigani G, Murgia I. 2022. Formate dehydrogenase: a hub protein in mitochondrial Fe homeostasis involved in the signaling pathways induced by the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas simiae WCS417. 20th International Symposium on Iron Nutrition and Interactions in Plants (ISINIP). Reims, France 4 – 8 July 2022 (oral presentation)


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