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Engineering and Agro-Food Processing

Research activity

Research activity

The aim of the research is to develop technologies and methodologies of agricultural engineering in both agricultural and forestry systems with activities mainly in the sectors of agricultural mechanization, environmental management, post-harvest technologies and the transformation of products and biomass for energy purposes, and of the following agri-food products: olive oil, table olives, durum wheat and other cereals, fruit and vegetables.

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High-tech agromechanics and digital agriculture

High-tech agromechanics and digital agriculture
Increase the sustainable efficiency of agromechanical activities through integrated studies on machines, mechanization and digital technologies. In particular: digital and precision agriculture technologies, analysis of the performance of agricultural machines (ergonomics and safety), autonomous remote/proximal sensing studies and advanced control sensors (open-source), approval and certification of machines and mechanization of new crops.

Collection and transformation of biomass for energy and non-food purposes

Collection and transformation of biomass for energy and non-food purposes
Supporting the sustainable development of energy and agri-food production through the study and implementation of technological innovations and strategies for the supply of agricultural and forestry products and by-products, promoting their cascade use, according to the principles of the circular bioeconomy. Research activities are carried out both at national and community level, transferring the knowledge acquired and the technologies developed also to developing countries. Studies on biolubricants, biogas and waste valorization. Analysis of microgeneration plants.

Agro-food processing (olive trees, cereals, fruit and vegetables)

Agro-food processing (olive trees, cereals, fruit and vegetables)
Defense and enhancement of the "Made in Italy" agro-food quality, with particular reference to oil, pasta and baked products also including those manufactured employing non-traditional cereals, fruit and vegetables. Surveys of the technological innovation of processes and conservation, with attention to the quality of the products within an integrated and a sustainable supply chain perspective. The main activities concern the agronomic, technological, nutritional, hygienic-sanitary and sensorial aspects.

Research programme 2018/2020 - Centre's objectives

Research programme 2018/2020 - Centre's objectives

Laboratory of cereals processing and pasta quality (Rome - Inviolatella)

Optoelectronics and advanced sensors laboratory (Monterotondo and Milan)

Smart Brewing Lab: Laboratory of innovative and digital technologies for transformations in the beer supply chain (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for biomass characterization and chemical-physical analysis of gaseous pollutants (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for the mechanization development for the biomass collection and management from dedicated crops and agro-forestry residues (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for the determination of airborne dust generated by agricultural activities (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for determining the distribution efficiency of plant protection products (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for the qualitative characterization of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables (Milan)

Laboratory for tests of driving and operating machines and agricultural tires: safety and performance (Monterotondo, RM)

Laboratory for microbial biotechnologies applied to agriculture and agro-food processing (Turin)

Counter-analysis laboratory (Pescara)

Laboratory of table olives (Pescara)

Laboratory of biomass chemical-physical characterization (Treviglio, BG)

Agro-mechanical prototyping laboratory (Treviglio, BG)

Pilot plants for processing cereals and pasta production (Rome-Inviolatella)

Biomass power plant for energy cogeneration (Monterotondo, RM)

Agricultural machinery test center (Monterotondo, RM)

Test plant for tractors, alternative fuels and biolubricants (Monterotondo, RM)

Plant for static tests of lifts and agricultural tires (Monterotondo, RM)

Vibrating bench for tractor testing (Treviglio, BG)

Engines laboratory (Treviglio, BG)

Ergonomics laboratory (Treviglio, BG)

Fruit and vegetable storage pavilion (Milan)

Agricultural Products Processing Pavilion (Milan)

Agro-mechanical workshops (Monterotondo and Treviglio)

The history of the center_def


The history of the center

The Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing was established as part of the CREA reorganization in May 2017, through the aggregation of 6 territorial structures: Monterotondo (RM), Treviglio (BG), Rome (Inviolatella), Milan, Turin and Pescara.

The offices in Monterotondo and Treviglio, formerly Agriculture Mechanization Experimental Institute and then transformed into the Agricultural Engineering Research Unit in 1999, mainly deal with agricultural engineering. The Rome-Inviolatella site, with competences on different quality aspects of cereal production, including agronomic yield,  phytopathological, health and safety-related issues (mycotoxins) and, in particular, on technological process and quality of cereals, derives from the Experimental Institute for Cereal Research (ISC - 1967), even before the National Institute of Genetics for Cereal Crops in Rome founded in 1919 by Nazareno Strampelli.

The structure of Milan, with main skills in the transformation and conservation of fruit and vegetables, originates from the Research Unit for the processes of the agro-food industry deriving from the Experimental Institute for Agricultural Products Technologies originated in 1967, former Experimental Station of Refrigeration founded in 1919.

The Pescara office, which deals with the evaluation of the oil and table olives, originates from the Research Center for Olive Growing and Olive Oil Industry, formerly Experimental Institute for Olive Oil Technology since 1968 and Royal Experimental Station for Olive Growing and Oil Mill since 1931.

The Turin office was born as a peripheral research group in 2004 of the Research Center for the Soil-Plant System by the previous organization.