ProdAl – Interuniversity Research Center – is one of the Research Laboratories accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, from 2010.

The Mission of ProdAl is to promote the technology transfer, transforming the experimental development into exploitable innovation.

The Consortium Network, which counts on 400 researchers, contributes to create the favourable conditions to promote innovation, thanks to its qualified human capital and the ability to use knowledge with the aim of developing the Italian agri-food productive chain.

Research topics

ProdAl undertakes the development of several research projects thanks to its scientific expertise and the available bench-top and pilot plant units.

  • Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF)

PEF is a technology for the cold electroporation of cell membranes, which in ProdAl is exploited in:

  • recovery of components with high added value from food industry residues;
  • PEF assisted vinification process;
  • pasteurization of fruit juices;
  • combined PEF-High pressure CO2
  • High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP)

HHP process is able to induce the microbial inactivation in solid or liquid food products, while preserving the thermosensitive compounds. ProdAl’s expertise is focused on:

  • production and stabilization of functional foods rich in bioactive compounds (polyphenols, anthocyanins, flavonoids), such as red fruit-based products (pomegranate juice, strawberry and wild strawberry puree, cherry puree);
  • increasing the bio-availability of polyphenol compounds, which are released from vegetable cells;
  • better preservation of the anthocyanin content during the storage.
  • Ohmic Heating

Ohmic heating is a technology to warm up the food using an electric energy where electric current is passed through a material which gets heated by virtue of its electrical resistance.

ProdAl researchers tested this technology on:

  • effect of ohmic heating on cell membrane permeabilization of vegetable tissue;
  • thermal processing (Blanching – Sterilization/Pasteurization) of solid–liquid food mixtures;
  • electrode corrosion.
  • High Intensity Pulsed Light (HILP)

HILP technology uses the effects of ultraviolet radiation for microbial decontamination of:

  • solid food;
  • food or medical equipment;
  • packaging materials;
  • liquids;
  • Novel applications of HHP process for food allergens

In order to reduce the food allergenic power the scientific research is developing new methodologies. Among the innovative technologies ProdAl researchers focused the attention on the use of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) as a new technology to be implemented in order to reduce the allergenic power of foods.

  • HHP technology is able to act on the key-factor underlying the allergic reaction: the conformational structure of the allergen.
  • Nanoscale platforms for the delivery of bioactive compounds in food matrices

Growing consumers’ interest for food containing natural (antimicrobial) compounds is the driving force for the development of natural antimicrobials. ProdAl researchers have developed a significant expertise in:

  • Incorporation of essential oil nanoemulsions into food systems of different nature;
  • development of nanometric size oil droplets, stabilized in aqueous phase by a suitable food-grade emulsifiers, and produced by high-pressure homogenization, to entrap essential oils.


Department of Industrial Engeneering

The University of Salerno with the Faculty of Engineering, was the first in Italy to adopt the three cycle system (3-2-3) according to the Bologna process since 1998. Between 1984 and 1998 the education in Food Engineering characterized the special curriculum of Chemical Engineering (5 years) available at the University of Salerno.

Since 1984, education and research in Food and Chemical Engineering at the University of Salerno was carried out with the major contribution of the teaching staff of the Department of Chemical and Food Engineering. This Department merged with other departments in 2011 to form the Department of Industrial Engineering. Within this Department, the identity of the former groups of Chemical and Food Engineering were preserved within the Section of Chemical and Food Engineering and within the Educational Board in Chemical and Food Engineering.

The Department, thanks to the synergies deriving from the collaboration between researchers in different areas, operating within the University of Salerno for over 25 years, has become a scientific and cultural hub the local territory, connecting research and teaching experiences, providing skills in basic and applied research, and fostering a vocation for innovation, technology transfer and the dissemination and exploitation of research products.

To this end, the Department of Industrial Engineering promotes collaborations with companies, research centers and public and private, national, and international bodies, providing its expertise and experimental equipment for the solution of specific technical problems. Furthermore, the Dipartment also acts as an incubator for new entrepreneurial companies, as evidenced by the active spin-offs.

The Educational offer includes:

  • Three-year degree course:
    • Chemical engineering
    • Electronic engineering
    • Management engineering
    • Mechanical engineering
  • Master’s degree:
    • Food engineering
    • Chemical engineering
    • Electronic engineering
    • Management engineering
    • Mechanical engineering
  • PhD course – Industrial engineering
  • Second level master – International master in engineering and innovation management.

Research Areas are:

  • Environment
  • Power
  • Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials technologies and production processes
  • Food products, agriculture and biotechnology
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Information and communication technologies


University of Salerno 

The University of Salerno, with about 39,000 students, 2,110 staff, 34 bachelor degrees, 34 master degrees, 6 one cycle degrees and 16 PhD schools is one of the largest universities in southern Italy. Founded in 1944, it is ideally linked to the “Schola Medica Salernitana,” one of the oldest European institutions of the Middle ages, closed in 1811.

Nowadays the University is located in the Irno Valley (16 Km away from the city of Salerno) and has two Campuses. The two Campuses at Fisciano and Baronissi have grown over time and established themselves within the Southern Italian University context as an important reference point.

Therefore, while referring to an illustrious past and inspired by numerous experiences that have characterized their development, the Campuses have developed as a modern innovative University in contemporary society, with high educational standards, serving all the needs of its numerous students, with a wide choice of educational programmes and multiple and efficient services.

The University of Salerno has many partnerships with higher education institutions all over the world, with private companies and research institutes at a national or international level. Opportunities for professors and students are strongly encouraged by the University to strengthen international cooperation.