Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - ISA
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In brief

The Institute of Food Sciences (ISA) of the National Research Council (CNR) is hosted in Avellino and develops the following research lines:

  • studies on the composition and nutritional quality of foods;
  • evaluation of the effects of nutrition on human health;
  • characterization and enhancement of foods typical of the
  • mediterranean diet;
  • genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics of food sciences.

ISA is a multidisciplinar research institute, with competences in different fields of the nutritional sciences. Its mission is to deep the knowledge in food sciences, and to use it for industrial application. Its natural research targets are studies on the typical, local food products and the validation of the nutritional model of the mediterranean diet &endash; a demonstrated model for health maintenance &endash; with the aim to improve with new technological and scientific findings the productive procedures of the agriculture and food industry. These researches have high impact both on public health and economy; a very important role is the support to small companies in the South of Italy, often characterized by "traditional" work procedures which limit their possibilities to enter in larger markets. In this perspective, studies are present in the Institute aimed to develop quality controls assays to obtain internationally recognized labels for the local food products and to develop certified national food containers.Several research activities are present in ISA, like the characterization of the mediterranean model of diet, studies on the genetic of population and their nutritional habits, advances in food technologies and quality controls. These studies are performed using traditional as well as very innovative biotechnological and bioinformatic approaches. A facility of mass spectrometry, one of the most advanced in Europe with competences in functional genomics and proteomics, actively interacts with the different research lines present in the Institute. Various international collaborations and research projects bridge the research activities in the Institute with similar projects developed in other EU or american countries. It is to underline that many of the scientific competences in food science present in the Institute are unique in respect to other CNR Institutes or other national scientific Institutions.ISA also develops training and innovative knowledge in the field of nutrition; several courses have been organized on different topics: "Health and Nutrition", technological innovation in the food industry, environmental control of food industry, the Master on Food Sciences and Biotechnology, the Master of high education in the field of biotechnology, etc. In the last years a project on nutritional education (ARCA project), have been developed with the collaboration of Regione Campania, pediatricians of the local Hospitals (ASL) and teachers of the Educational Committee. This is the first program in Italy devoted to create a culture in the field of nutrition in primary school students to prevent diseases like obesity or diabete. Junior high schools frequently visit the laboratories of the Institute for stages and pratical courses. The ISA also has exchange programs with Universities and Research Institutions in the surrounding Regione Campania.The ISA is located in the center of the town, at the corner between Via Roma and Via Rubilli and is hosted in a modern and functional building , with eight levels and a total surface area of 10.000 square meters. The first two levels are underground and host the general technological facilities, the animal house and the garage. At the ground floor there are the laboratories for the screening of patients, a meeting room, the bioinformatic laboratory and the center for proteome and biomolecular mass spectrometry (CESMA-PROBIO). The CESMA-PROBIO derives from the International Center of Mass Spectrometry (CISESMA), which moved from Naples to Avellino with CNR order n. 15422 on 13.12.1999. The CISESMA was in the period 1991-1999 the unique CNR structure recognized as "large-scale facility" in Europe and presently is the largest italian laboratory of mass spectrometry, equivalent to similar International facilities. Between the first and second floor there are thirty well equipped research laboratories, including an experimental kitchen, the panel test room, the fermentation laboratory, mammalian cell culture rooms, a microscopy room, the room for the use of radioactive isotopes, a dark room and cold rooms. Between the fourth and fifth floor there are offices for the research personnel and the administration and the direction, while at the fifth floor there are also two rooms for guests.

At the moment the personnel of the Institute has a total of 54 units,

divided in:

n. 38 researchers

n. 16 administrative and technicians

n. 15 research guests

There is also a total of n.16 units of non structured personnel (doctorate, students, post-doctoral fellows) and n.48 students reparing their graduate thesis.



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