Angelica Lippi, PhD Candidate, Food Science and Technology, University of Florence (Italy) – Institut Lyfe (France)
In 2017 I got a master’s degree in clinical and health psychology, my main focus has always been in human cognition and behavior. Since I started working on my master thesis, I became fascinated with how food is perceived by our brain along with the very complex variables involved in this process, such as emotions and memory. At that precise moment, I no longer just saw the dish in front of me or something culturally familiar (Italy: pizza and spaghetti), but I began to perceive a very different and complex world.
After some practice as a psychology student at the cancer unit of Meyer Children Hospital in Florence, I started my PhD about “Individual food preferences in cancer patients” in 2021 at the University of Florence and Institut Lyfe. My PhD project aims to explore all the variables that impact food preferences in people undergoing cancer treatment, such as sensory responsiveness, psychological traits, sensory alterations and attitudes toward food. Study methods include self-reported questionnaires and sensory assessments with food prototypes varying for target sensations intensity. At the end of the project, we hope to make a very important contribution to nutrition in cancer care. Knowing more about how patients food preferences react to treatment will allow us to develop new food guidelines in order to prevent malnutrition. The whole study will be in collaboration with the Centre Antoine Lacassagne (France) where data will be collected.
During this 1st year and a half, I had the opportunity to test the whole study procedure on healthy subjects in Italy and France. This work gave light to a very interesting work about sensory-hedonic response to food models in healthy subjects. I also am carrying on a project using a co-creation procedure in which cancer patients, together with professional chefs will develop and test new recipes to improve the ones at the hospital and create some new guidelines for patients cooking at home during their treatment.
If you are interested in knowing more about my PhD project or my research interests, please contact me: