gelato vegetale

Sapienza's technology transfer as a key player in national food & beverage innovation: groundbreaking plant-based ice cream developed

Sapienza's Department of Environmental Biology and the Italian start-up Celery have developed a range of products that offer advanced nutritional solutions for optimal health benefits

A research team led by Carlo Rizzello of the Department of Environmental Biology, in collaboration with the Italian start-up Celery, has developed a range of products that offer advanced nutritional solutions for optimal health benefits.

Following the patenting of an organic 'yoghurt-like' health drink based on pulses and cereals, the functional vegetable, gluten- and lactose-free ice cream with viable lactic acid bacteria is now born.

The innovative development of ice cream production starts with the preliminary development of a biotechnological process of fermentation of plant matrices, in which the use of selected lactic acid bacteria plays a key role in defining an optimal organoleptic profile, specific technological and structural properties, but is also responsible for obtaining valuable nutritional and functional properties, including the high digestibility of the protein fraction, the synthesis of bioactive compounds and the degradation of anti-nutritional compounds of plant origin.

The results of the process and the features of the novel ice cream have been published in the journal LWT (Elsevier).

The fermented product used as a base for ice cream and conceived initially as an ingredient-platform has been declined in several different formats (liquid, powder, creamy) and formulations (homemade and industrial ice cream, soft and drinkable yoghurt-like product, shake).

The biotechnological process developed is also being used to create processes and products in the nutraceutical and medical fields.

This is an example of the strong connection between Sapienza scientific research and the agri-food industry, also represented by an increasing number of degree programmes, national projects (NRRP - CN2 Agritech) and the recruitment of highly-specialised researchers.

Thanks to venture capital investments, the next step is creating the first production plant and opening some own-brand shops selling products such as handmade ice cream, yoghurts, and shakes.



Design and characterization of a plant-based ice cream obtained from a cereal/legume yogurt-like -Erica Pontonio, Marco Montemurro, Cinzia Dingeo, MicheleRotolo, Domenico Centrone, Vito Emanuele Carofiglio, Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello - Elsevier


Further Information

Carlo Rizzello
Department of Environmental Biology

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

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