The Spoke’s Ecosystem

Seven research areas for seven major working groups

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Our core is the coordinated research activities of seven spokes, each focusing on a specific theme and developing it in breadth according to its scientific perspectives.

All spokes are deeply intertwined in a complex, skilful network of disciplinary relationships, connections, and integrations.

Like cross-fertilisation, ideas originating in one spoke become innovations through the expertise of researchers working and collaborating in other spokes.

Spoke 01

Global Sustainability

Fair Food Market for Healthy Citizens

Spoke 01 'Global Sustainability' aims to improve the efficiency of food value chains by combining productivity and sustainability, promoting technology transfer, and providing access to sustainable food for the most vulnerable members of society. Its slogan, "Fair food market for healthy citizens", reflects the goal of impacting the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of food systems through strategies that respect consumers' choices, prioritise food quality and seasonality, and promote socio-economic fairness to reduce inequality.

Spoke 02

Smart and circular food system and distribution

Valorizing Food Waste and Smart and Virtuous Logistics

Spoke 02 "Smart and circular food system and distribution" aims to improve the sustainability of food systems through circular economy processes for the enhancement of waste to obtain high value-added products and to develop the application of intelligent logistics systems of food distribution. The research projects under the Spoke 02 focus on improving food system sustainability through two main strategies: i) applying circular economy approaches to enhance the value of food waste and by-products, resulting in high-added value products, and ii) developing and implementing smart logistics strategies, digital technologies, and innovative solutions for food distribution, all aimed at enhancing sustainability in the food industry.

Spoke 03

Food safety of traditional and novel foods

Promoting a safe food innovation

Spoke 03 is focused on enhancing food and nutrition quality better to meet the needs and expectations of the modern consumer. The project uses various tools, such as food reformulation, innovative and sustainable technologies, and new food design. The ultimate goal is to safeguard health at the population level while also considering the emerging interindividual differences that are driving the personalised nutrition revolution. Research activities under Spoke 03 include evaluating new, emerging, and (re)-emerging risks in the food system. The project develops strategies to ensure the healthiness of food, taking into account new sustainable technologies. Additionally, Spoke 02 aims to understand new foods' applicability and safe use in the food system.

Spoke 04

Food quality and nutrition

To push towards sustainable and tailored food and nutrition

The research projects under Spoke 04 aim to improve the quality of food and nutrition to meet the needs and expectations of modern consumers. This includes reformulating food, using innovative and sustainable technologies, and designing new foods while considering emerging interindividual features that drive personalised nutrition. The focus is on promoting consumer health through improved food, diet, and nutrition, while also taking into account the large inter-individual variability of response to the diet and promoting careful personalisation of consumption.

Spoke 05

Lifelong nutrition

A healthy diet for all

Spoke 05 'Lifelong Nutrition' aims to promote food and nutrition security through a life-course approach according to the needs of different population groups based on age, gender, and predisposition to the disease. It is intended to facilitate models for healthy nutritional schemes by mapping the national population status, including specific population targets, and by disseminating the healthy and sustainable principles of the Mediterranean Diet.

Spoke 06

Tackling malnutrition

To restore resilience and defeat malnutrition

Spoke 06 ‘Tackling Malnutrition’ is focused on developing nutritional strategies targeting the most vulnerable categories of the national population (i.e., families in the condition of financial hardship, people affected by pathologies, or older people), thus ensuring adequate nutrition and limiting the onset of malnutrition situations that would end up reducing resilience and aggravating conditions of frailty.

Spoke 07

Policy, behaviour and education

Smarter Behaviors for Healthier Diets

Spoke 07 ‘Policy, behaviour and education’ is centred on developing models and instruments, also digital and technologically advanced, to observe, analyse and forecast agricultural and food policies and the behaviour of businesses and consumers. This would allow the planning, implementation, and promotion of public actions, educational paths, and communication campaigns to improve health sustainability by preventing loss, surplus, and waste and enabling more informed food consumption.