Call for a Special Issue

Call for the issue on “Microbiota Exploitation for the Development of Innovative and High Added-value Fermented Food

To be published in the journal: Foods (ISSN 2304-8158) IF 4.092
Guest Editors: Dr. Luciana De Vero, Prof. Dr Andrea Pulvirenti, Prof. Dr.Ilaria Mannazzu

Fermentation of dairy products, vegetables, cereals, meat, and fish have emerged in human history, almost concomitantly across the different continents, as a strategy for the preservation of raw materials and the production of food and beverages for times of shortage. Since then, humankind has traditionally and empirically utilized fermentation not only for preservation purposes but also for the improvement of the organoleptic properties, texture, digestibility, palatability, and safety of all sorts of food matrices. This has led to the production of a myriad of fermented products that are the result of different cultural preferences and traditions and cover about thirty percent of the human diet, regardless of geographic area and lifestyle. Nowadays, fermentation is widely employed also to enrich food and beverages with beneficial viable microorganisms and/or their metabolites in order to positively impact human health. This result can be achieved either through the exploitation of the wild microbiota naturally associated with raw materials or as the result of the inoculation of selected starters and requires the characterization, preservation, management and circulation of microbial diversity.

Keeping into consideration the keywords “food microbiota” and “fermentation”, this Special Issue aims to collect original research papers, review articles, and short communications addressing novel and relevant findings on the applications of lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi isolated from food matrices or preserved in culture collections. Of particular interest will be contributions regarding:

  • the characterisation, exploitation, and preservation of beneficial microbiota for fermented local-food production;
  • the development of high added-value and novel fermented products;
  • the reduction of chemical preservatives in food through the production of natural antimicrobials of microbial origin;
  • the production of bioactive compounds with health-promoting activity.

The deadline for submission is 31 August 2021 (with a possibility for extension).

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Applicants should indicate in the application cover letter that the manuscript is recommended by Dr. Vero.

Applicants and interested authors have the following discounts:

30% discount – available until 31 August 2021;
20% discount – available until 30 September 2021;

Know our first four researchers who will be granted access to MIRRI/IS_MIRRI21 facilities in 2021

Roksana Majewska – Postdoc researcher at the North-West University (South Africa)

Roksana is a marine biologist, phycologist, and natural scientist with experience in various fields of aquatic and environmental studies. She is a research fellow at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University (South Africa) and the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, where she studies tropical and extreme habitat diatoms using both morphological and molecular approaches and supports the management and development of the South African National Diatom Collection. Roksana is also a visiting scientist at the Department of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas in Austin (USA), and the Chair of the Africa BioGenome Project Pilot Committee.

Assunta Saide – Postdoc researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Italy)

Assunta’s research interests are marine biotechnology, cellular and molecular biology with a strong expertise in mechanisms of induction of apoptosis and cellular death in human cancer cells. As a researcher of the POR project ADVISE at the SZN, she is involved in the characterisation of biological activities of chemical compounds extracted from microalgae, on different cancer cell lines and the identification of the targeted genes. The aim is to identify new compounds that induce a specific type of cell death in cancer cells; and/or stimulate an immune response in normal cells so that they can inhibit cancer cell growth

Agapi Doulgeraki – Assistant researcher at Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products, ELGO-DEMETER (Greece)

Dr. Agapi Doulgeraki is an Assistant Researcher (topic: Food microbiology) at the Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products of Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA. She is specialised in food microbiology and application of molecular techniques. Specifically, her research interests focus on monitoring microorganisms and their behaviour in foods by application of standard and molecular techniques, enhancement of foods’ safety and quality (use of natural antimicrobials, fermentation, packaging, probiotics etc.), biofilm formation on biotic and abiotic surfaces and biofilm decontamination. She holds a degree in Food Science and Technology from Agricultural University of Athens and a Ph.D. in Food microbiology from Cranfield University.

Fortunato Palma Esposito – Postdoc researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Italy)

Fortunato is an early career Postdoc researcher at Marine Biotechnology Department at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples. He obtained his PhD degree in biotechnology in 2018 followed by almost 2 years of work as an innovation consultant writing and managing European projects. Fortunato has a broad experience in microbiology, working with bacteria, yeast and fungi especially from marine sources. Fortunato’s scientific interests are mainly based on the sustainable exploitation of marine microbial biodiversity to identify novel bioactive compounds for biotech applications. He was a visiting student in several Biotech labs in Europe and successfully participated in others TNA programmes. 



Publisher: Institut Pasteur

Launch of the new MIRRI website and MIRRI CWE

On 24 March 2021, the new MIRRI website ( was launched, creating a Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) that facilitates interaction among MIRRI partners and users from various stakeholder communities, boosting the possibilities to share knowledge, exchange experience and collaborate to achieve common goals in research and development. The CWE presents a forum to bring together partners and users from various communities, scientific areas and industry stakeholders.

Through the CWE, MIRRI provides:

  • Unique entry point to the broadest catalogue of microbial resources, advanced services and education & training microbial-related offer in Europe
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities and tailor-made services and pipelines, going from bioprospection to validation of functional properties, through Transnational Access Programmes
  • Access to the largest datasets associated with microbial resources in Europe, embedded in the EOSC and following FAIR principles
  • Access to a wide selection of experts in different topics related with the use of microbial resources
  • Access to training courses and e-learning webinars covering different aspects on the use of microbial resources, targeted to mBRC users
  • Access to official academic schemes, different learning materials and workshops to train mBRC and Culture Collection professionals
  • Access to digital content to increase the knowledge about microbes in the society, adapted to different audiences (schools, policy makers, broad audience)

All these elements are being implemented on the frame of the IS_MIRRI21 project, so the website is being updated as the CWE construction progresses, offering new services as well as pieces of information.

Have innovative ideas? 

Contact us at We welcome your suggestions to improve our MIRRI CWE!

Italians do it.. microbiologically! The Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT: status and undergoing activities

In 2017, five public Italian Institutions (University of Torino, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Perugia, National Research Council, and San Martino Polyclinic Hospital) agreed to co-found the Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT, with the aim of supporting the adhesion of Italy to MIRRI and creating its Italian node, as a first step for the construction of the Italian network of collections of microbial resources. MIRRI-IT aims to increase the communication between Institutions, collections and stakeholders, and to overcome the fragmentation in the availability of resources and services.

To date, 17 associated members have joined the five founding Institutions, representing a large portion of the microbial collections in Italy. Among new partners are universities, medical and veterinary research centres, and regional and national research centres. Represented resources include the majority of microbial organisms and collections often possessing original strains, not available elsewhere. A website has been created where all the information and news regarding MIRRI-IT can be found ( The expertise and point of view of MIRRI-IT partners has also been presented in a collaborative paper (see De Vero L. et al. 2019,

In recent months, the scientific committee of MIRRI-IT has restarted its activities after the stop due to COVID-19, planning the organisation of several working groups, which operate in different topics concerning collections research and management. The groups are focused on the following subjects:

  • Microorganisms of food interest;
  • Microorganisms of agricultural, forestry and environmental interest;
  • Microorganisms of medical and veterinary interest;
  • Data and catalogue management;
  • Certifications, especially ISO standards relating to collections;
  • Molecular characterisation and identification of microorganisms;
  • Common protocols and procedures;
  • Updating of the National Plan on agro-biodiversity; and
  • Relations with scientific societies and foreign collections, promotion and communication.

With this new scientific structure, MIRRI-IT will definitely match the purposes of IS_MIRRI21 Work Packages, functioning as a productive interface between the individual Italian collections and the European Institutions and stakeholders.

For more information, you are welcome to get in touch by email with the Coordinator, Prof. Varese, at

MIRRI receives a delegation from the European Council

MIRRI was honoured with a visit from a delegation of 40 Economic Advisers and other members representing 27 countries from the European Commission on 8 June 2021. The Directorate-General for Economic Activities (DGAE) and the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union (REPER) organized a tour across several institutions including Centre of Biological Engineering (CEB) at University of Minho (UMinho) and International Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal.

Under the scope of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union Council, the delegates had an overview of the industrial, technological and innovative initiatives from the North of Portugal. MIRRI, with headquarters at UMinho, was selected among few research project and spin-offs, to take part in the exhibition and showcase its work. MIRRI’s Team presented its mission, organisation and activities, and disseminate its Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2030. In addition, the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) availed a mascot SACA (representing Saccharomyces Yeast) to MIRRI to promote the upcoming International Microorganism Day, on 17 September, 2021.

Nelson Lima, Head of MIRRI-PT and H2020 IS_MIRRI21 Project Coordinator, and the MIRRI Central Coordinating Unit members – Luís Soares, Bassem Kheireddine and Ana Ferreira, represented MIRRI in the event. The team engaged with the countries’ representatives with the aim of fostering the promotion of activities and enlargement of MIRRI with new entities from the public, private and industrial domains.