The Animal Science Dept of the Agriculture Faculty, University of Florence (Italy), has been dealing with the wide field of animal production using both traditional and innovative approaches. Research areas mostly deal with animal nutrition and exogenous-endogenous factors which influence quantity and quality of animal production, including fish and shellfish products.
The staff counts twenty nine personas in which there are six full Professors, seven Professors, five researchers and four laboratory technicians. The didactics activity includes more than 30 different subjects, including Food technology fields. The Department started in dealing aquaculture research at the end of 80’s years studying the animals’ growth and the modifications of merchantable characteristics and edible parts chemicals profiles, including lipid quality evaluation, in relations with different influence factors (species, farming techniques, rearing sites and season). The research activity of the Department in the field of fish product quality and quality changes assessment has mostly been involved in mussel, clam, carp, perch, mullet, sea bass, sea bream, pantex - Pagrus mayor x Dentex dentex, meagre and blue fin tuna. The study of post mortem changes in different fish species have been dealt in the sensorial and instrumental methods to assess freshness and quality changes in finfish.
The laboratories of Animal Science Departmet have all the necessary analytical equipment for nutrient and muscle analyses (HPLC, GLC, spectrophotometers, Instron, Minolta Chroma-meter, Spectro Colour II, Fish Tester VI, Texture Analyser TA HD plus, Fat Meter, Gas/massa, Coulter Counter, Electrophoresis units, Spectrofluorimeter, Polarimeter, Adiabatic bomb, Digital image analysis system, Microscopes, Freeze-Drier apparatus, Freezing microtome, Ampherometer, Electronic nose and Chemical Biosensors) and have also a little hatchery and recycling water system for fish researches and other structures to carry out feeding trials with different animal species.
Concerning finfish the fish quality research group of the Animal Science Dept. collaborates or has collaborated for specific research trials with other Italian University Dept. and with international institutions (Fish nutrition Research Laboratory, INRA, St-Pée-sur-Nivelle; Inst. of Aquaculture, Torre de la Sal, Spain).
Concerning the molluscs the fish quality research group of the Animal Science Dept. collaborates or has collaborated for specific research trials with other Italian University Dept. and with international institutions (Laboratorie Flux de Matière et Physiologie des Invertèbrès Marins, Ifremer, Brest; Laboratoire Flux de Matière et Rèponses du Vivant, Univesitè de Caen Basse-Normandie). The staff of the Animal Science Dept counts more than 350 articles on aquaculture and fish quality.