PhD student profile, Irene Locatelli

PhD Student: Irene Locatelli (ORCID n. 0009-0005-3811-8287)



Supervisor: Dr. Silvia Grassi, DeFENS

Co-tutor: Prof. Susanna Buratti, DeFENS

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition

Research topic: Green and fast e-sensing methodologies for Process Analytical Technology and food quality assessment and authentication

Project Synopsis

Currently, 25-30% of the worldwide food production is wasted due to poor management and in particular poor temperature control. Approximately 60% of the foods we consume need refrigeration at some point in the cold chain.

Thus, this PhD project aims at developing Process Analytical Technology (PAT) approaches to improve refrigeration technologies along the food cold chain.

The research will consider two main topics: (1) superchilling/supercooling in food processing and (2) cold-induced damage during cold or sub-zero temperature preservation. In both cases, the reliability of sensing techniques, combined with Chemometrics, will be studied at laboratory scale, and then scaled up at pilot plant level. The main sensing techniques applied will be FT-NIR, NIR handheld, FT-IR, e-eye, thermal imaging, e-tongue and e-nose.

The PhD outcomes will contribute to enhance food quality, optimise processes and reduce environmental impact, while maintaining consumer acceptance of refrigerated foods.


Irene Locatelli project outline


Irene Locatelli project scheme


Project keywords

Process Analytical Technology; non-destructive techniques; food quality; cold-chain



Department of Food Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS)

University of Milan

Via Mangiagalli, 25 – 20133 Milan


Prof. Cristina Alamprese, DeFENS. Università degli Studi di Milano

Dr. Maria Paciulli, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti e del Farmaco, Università di Parma


Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano


Oral communications

Irene Locatelli. Proteggere l’eccellenza: nuove categorie qualitative e nuovi metodi d’analisi. Le attività di UNIMONT per la valorizzazione dello zafferano «made in Italy» (Progetto PNRR ‘Agritech’), Edolo, Italy, November 14th, 2023.

Poster presentations

Irene Locatelli, Davide Pedrali, Silvia Grassi*. Saffron valorization by NIR spectroscopy. International Conference on Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Innsbruck, Austria, August 20th-24th, 2023.



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