Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)

FONDAZIONE E. MACH-Via E.Mach, 1-38010 S. Michele all’Adige (TN)-Italy


Phone: +39 0461 650262

-Agostino Cavazza

The Edmund Mach Foundation (FEM), founded in 1874, promotes and carries out research, scientific experiments, education and training activities as well as providing technical assistance and extensions services to companies. These activities are aimed at promoting cultural and socio-economic growth in the agricultural sector and at developing the forestry and agro-alimentary systems, with particular regard for the environment and the safeguard of the territory of the Trentino region.

In carrying out food and nutrition research FEM embraces the “One-health” systematic approach, aiming to contribute to healthy diets, healthy lives and healthy ecosystems at regional, national and international levels.

The purpose is to support product and processing innovation based on knowledge of the food and agriculture sector. Studies in the fields of biological sciences, consumer science, metabolomics and traceability are indeed precious tools to obtain innovative products (e.g. new ingredients) and processes with added value, based on knowledge, ideas and innovation.
The development of new methods of study and knowledge about nutritionally and sensorially significant compounds (i.e. metabolomics) improve the understanding of the impact of diet on human health and the production of higher value-added foods. The integration of the metabolomics approach with state-of-the-art research in the field of nutrigenomics allows also to measure how food and diet modulates host health and protects against chronic disease through microbial interactions. With a special focus in fermented foods (especially fermented dairy products), whole plant foods, their bioactive fractions (fibers, prebiotics and polyphenols) and probiotics, FEM researchers are able to examine how microorganisms impact on food nutritional composition and also, how diet shapes and regulates the gut microbiome.
Through the application of stable isotope ratios analysis of bio-elements, provides fundamental scientific and technological support to safeguard the certified origin of products and ingredients within the context of the global market. It collaborates with national and EC institutions and with Consortia for the protection of PDO foods for developing advanced analytical models usable to detect the authenticity of products on the market.
Furthermore, applied research in the field of consumer science allows to understand the mechanisms underlying the perceived quality of food and the physiological and psychological factors that influence perception, preference development and consumer behaviour. The FEM Sensory Quality Group and the Volatile Compound Facility are involved in large-scale national projects to investigate the influence of physiological and psychological attributes on food liking, preference and food behavior.