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PhD position (ESR 2) in Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN “FoodTraNet”: Authenticity of dairy products

   Centre for Research and Innovation

  Dr Elena Franciosi, Dr Federica Camin  Wednesday, June 30, 2021  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Trento Italy Analytical Chemistry Biochemistry Bioinformatics Environmental Biology Environmental Chemistry Microbiology Nanotechnology Food Sciences Pharmaceutical Chemistry

About the Project

Context: Cheese is one of those food products with potential as a functional food because of its ability to convey bioactive compounds deriving from milk and beneficial health-related bacteria, but it is not yet fully evaluated. This t means that the consumer is unaware of the possible nutritional value of functional fermented cheese and lacks knowledge of the authentic characteristics and properties of dairy-based functional foods.

Objectives: Identify bioactive compounds related to animal feeding/farming and produce novel functional cheeses by adding bacteria already tested for healthy compound production.

Specific objectives include:

  • Characterisation of bacteria for their ability in producing bioactive compounds (B-vitamins, gammaaminobutyric acid) and for their ability to restore the balance of the gut microbiota (bifidobacteria, 9 This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 956265. propionibacteria) and whole-genome analysis for considering the possibility of their use in functional cheese.
  • Identify differences in elemental and isotopic parameters between milk to cheese.
  • Determine authenticity based on a prediction map (isoscape).
  • Isotopically characterise the main bioactive compounds between milk to cheese using GC-C-IRMS.

Expected Results: Validated methods and completed isoscapes for verifying the authenticity of traditional raw milk cheeses (D2.1); Identified bioactive compounds and putative probiotic bacteria in traditional raw milk cheeses and novel dairy products added with healthy and functional bacteria (D2.2); Database of authentic samples of raw milk cheeses (M1).

Planned secondments: S5: CSIC (D. Hernando), 3 months, M9-11, analysis of bioactive compounds; S6: CONCAST (N. Cologna), 3 months, M15-17, production of experimental functional cheeses; S7: JSI (N. Ogrinc), 3 months, M20-22, elemental composition analysis; S8: FF (A. Johnson), 3 months, M27-29, statistical evaluation of the data with different methods, formation of isoscapes, knowledge exchange.

ESR Profile and requirements:

  • Academic Master recognised by the EU in one of the following disciplines: microbiology, food chemistry, food science, biotechnology or related disciplines.
  • Not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with the best academic study performances according to the ECST grading scale and recognised by the EU.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with experience or competencies in microbiological methods used to culture milk and cheese and molecular techniques such as DNA/RNA/protein extraction, qPCR, gel electrophoresis, cryopreservation, and other methods.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with experience or competencies in data treatment, data analysis and interpretation, including statistical analysis.
  • The successful candidate will be highly motivated, organised, creative, and enjoys working independently and as part of a research team.
  • The researcher will play an active part in the scientific life of the international research environment of the FoodTraNet network.

How to apply

Application Process:

All applications, in English, must be done using FoodTraNet application form. To access the application form click on this link:

The application form requires basic contact information (name, surname, email) and ESR eligibility criteria (date of Master’s award, full-time postgraduate research experience in months, country of residence and duration of residence in that country). Applicants are invited to choose up to three PhD Positions in order of preference. Only the complete applications (completed application form, CV, Covering Letter and Academic Records) will be evaluated. FoodTraNet is committed to Open, transparent, Merit-based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R). Please contact  if you have any problems submitting your application

Please carefully read the Call for Applicants guidance document for more information regarding Employment Conditions, ESR Benefits, and Eligibility Rules before you submit your application: .