National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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Filomena Monica Vella

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 0816132211

Main Research Interests

My entire educational and professional path is characterized by various research activities aimed at the progressive acquisition of specific skills in the agri-food sector, ranging from food chemistry and biochemistry to food safety, from the biomass valorization to microbiologic studies.

The main research activity has largely concerned the valorisation of both solid and liquid biomass for the production of bioenergy (biodiesel and biohydrogen) and biomolecules with high-added value (polyphenols, flavonoids and terpenes). The simultaneous possibility of extracting bioactive molecules and sustainable management of biomass and agri-food waste, decreasing their high environmental and economic impact, fully covers the fundamental principles of the circular economy of reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery.

Work experience

From February 1, 2022: research at Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (IBBR) of National Research Council, UOS Naples.

From December 19, 2019 to January 31, 2022: research at Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET) of National Research Council in Naples. I dealt with the identification, functional and chemometric characterization of primary and secondary metabolites involved in the pre-treatment and saccharification process of cellulosic sludge and plant biomass coming from the Taranto area. Moreover, I carried out of the determinations of the optimal parameters of extractions of polyphenols, lipids, polysaccharides and enzymes for their efficient use in bioremediation.

From June 20, 2014 to June 04, 2018: fellowship at Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology (IBAF) of National Research Council in Naples and I was involved in the extraction, purification and characterization of bioactive compounds with high antioxidant activity from plant matrices.

From June 17, 2013 to June 17, 2014: post-degree fellowship at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP) of National Research Council of Italy. I studied the monitoring and the decontamination/detoxification from nerve agents and explosives present in the environment.

From October 03, 2011 to June 06, 2012: post-degree fellowship at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry (ICB) of National Research Council of Italy. I studied biodiesel production process from diatoms in different photobioreactor and on use of second biomasses for bioenergy production. I have dealt with the characterization of the lipid component of microalgae, for biodiesel production by transesterification, and the polysaccharide fraction, for the production of biohydrogen via fermentation by means of anaerobic bacteria.

From June 07, 2010 to June 06, 2011: fellowship at the Institute of Chemistry and Polymer Technology (ICTP) of National Research Council of Italy. I have been involved in the study of microalgae and in particular in the selection of the best diatom for bioenergy production.

From 2006 to June 2008: fellowship at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry (ICB) of National Research Council of Italy. During these years, I worked on extremophilic bacteria. My research activity was focused on the isolation and characterization of halophilic, thermophilic and anaerobic microorganisms for the production of biomolecules (PHA, osmolytes, carbohydrates and lipids). I focused the attention in the developing of fermentation technologies to optimize the production of biomolecules of worldwide interest, in particular biohydrogen.


2011: Ph. D. in Applied Biology at University “Federico II” of Naples (Italy).

2006: Graduate Degree in Biological Sciences, at the School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Science, University of Naples “Federico II”, (Italy).


  • F.M. Vella, R. Calandrelli, D. Cautela, B. Laratta

“Natural antioxidant potential of melon peels for fortified foods”

Foods - 2023, 12 (13): 2523. DOI: 10.3390/foods12132523.

  • F.M. Vella, R. Calandrelli, A. Del Barone, M. Guida, B. Laratta

“Rapid evaluation of ergosterol to detect yeast contamination in fruit juices”

European Food Research and Technology - 2023, 249 (2): 465-472. DOI: 10.1007/s00217-022-04145-1.

  • B. Laratta, D. Pignone, F.M. Vella

“Leveraging the Cucumis melo wastes”

In: Ramadan M.F., Farag M.A. (Eds.) Mediterranean Fruits Bio-wastes. Chemistry, Functionality and Technological Applications. Springer, Cham - 2022, 27: 627-646. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-84436-3_27.

  • F.M. Vella, D. Cautela, B. Laratta

“Determination of antioxidant activity and sun protection factor assays of commercial essential oils”

Biology and Life Sciences Forum - 2021, 6 (1): 96-101. DOI: 10.3390/Foods2021-10992.

  • F.M. Vella, R. Calandrelli, B. Laratta

“Influence of ripening on polyphenolic content, degradative, and browning enzymes in cantaloupe varieties (C. melo, L.)”

Horticulturae - 2021, 7 (11): 421-433. DOI: 10.3390/horticulturae7110421.

  • D. Cautela, F.M. Vella, B. Laratta

“Chemical composition of chinotto juice”

Biology and Life Sciences Forum - 2021, 4 (1): 79-82. DOI: 10.3390/IECPS2020-08756.

  • F.M. Vella, R. Calandrelli, D. Cautela, I. Fiume, G. Pocsfalvi, B. Laratta

“Chemometric screening of fourteen essential oils for their composition and biological properties”

Molecules - 2020, 25 (21): 5126-5143. DOI: 10.3390/molecules25215126.

  • F.M. Vella, L. De Masi, R. Calandrelli, A. Morana, B. Laratta

“Valorization of the agro-forestry wastes from Italian chestnut cultivars for the recovery of bioactive compounds”

European Food Research and Technology - 2019, 245 (12): 2679-2686. DOI: 10.1007/s00217-019-03379-w.

  • D. Cautela, F.M. Vella, B. Laratta

“The effect of processing methods on phytochemical composition in bergamot juice”

Foods - 2019, 8 (10): 474-487. DOI: 10.3390/foods8100474.

  • F.M. Vella, A. Sardo, C. Gallo, S. Landi, A. Fontana, G. d’Ippolito

“Annual outdoor cultivation of the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii: productivity, limits and perspectives”

Algal Research - 2019, 42: 101553-101559. DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2019.101553.

  • B. Laratta, F.M. Vella, L. De Masi, A. Morana, F. La Cara

“Biochemical characterization of leaves, burs and shells of Bouche de Bétizac chestnut cultivar”

Acta Horticolturae ISHS - 2019, 1242: 575-580. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1242.84.

  • F.M. Vella, D. Cautela, B. Laratta

“Characterization of polyphenolic compounds in cantaloupe melon by-products"

Foods - 2019, 8 (6): 196-205. DOI: 10.3390/foods8060196.

  • D. Cautela, F.M. Vella, D. Castaldo, B. Laratta

“Characterization of essential oil recovered from fennel horticultural wastes"

Natural Products Research - 2019, 33 (13): 1964-1968. DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2018.1478827.

  • F.M. Vella, B. Laratta, F. La Cara, A. Morana

“Recovery of bioactive molecules from chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) by-products through extraction by different solvents”

Natural Products Research - 2018, 32 (9): 1022-1032. DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2017.1378199.

  • F.M. Vella, B. Laratta

“UV-based evaluation of ergosterol for monitoring the fungal exposure in Italian buffalo farms”

FEMS Microbiology Letters - 2017, 364 (22): fnx224. DOI: 10.1093/femsle/fnx224.

  • L. De Masi, F.M. Vella, B. Laratta, M.G. Volpe, M. Tiseo, F. La Cara

“Biochemical and genetic characterization of a red fig cultivar (Ficus carica) from Southern Italy”

Acta Horticolturae ISHS - 2017, 1173: 81-86. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1173.14.

  • F.M. Vella, F. La Cara, B. Laratta, A. Eusébio, I.P. Marques

“Bioactive compounds production from dairy cow effluent anaerobically digested”

Proceedings of Wastes: solutions, treatments and opportunities, 4th International Conference - Porto 2017. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.24641.25444.

  • I. Sirangelo, F.M. Vella, G. Irace, G. Manco, C. Iannuzzi

“Glycation in demetalated superoxide dismutase 1 prevents amyloid aggregation and produces cytotoxic ages adducts”

Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences - 2016, 3: 55-65. DOI: 10.3389/fmolb.2016.00055.

  • F.M. Vella, E. Galli, R. Calandrelli. D. Cautela, B. Laratta

“Effect of olive mill wastewater application on soil properties”

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology - 2016, 97 (1): 138-144. DOI: 10.1007/s00128-016-1830-7.

  • G. d’Ippolito, A. Sardo, D. Paris, F.M. Vella, M.G. Adelfi, P. Botte, C. Gallo, A. Fontana

“Potential of lipid metabolism in marine diatoms for biofuel production”

Biotechnology for Biofuels - 2015, 8: 28. DOI: 10.1186/s13068-015-0212-4.

  • L. Dipasquale, G. d’Ippolito, C. Gallo, F.M. Vella, A. Gambacorta, G. Picariello, A. Fontana

“Hydrogen production by the thermophilic eubacterium Thermotoga neapolitana from storage polysaccharides of the CO2-fixing diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy - 2012, 37: 12250-12257. DOI:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.05.160.

  • A. Cutignano, U. Chiuminatto, F. Petruzziello, F.M. Vella, A. Fontana

“UPLC-MS/MS method for analysis of sphingosine 1-phosphate in biological samples”

Prostaglandins & other Lipid Mediators - 2010, 93 (1-2): 25-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2010.06.001.

  • M.A. Basile, L. Dipasquale, A. Gambacorta, F.M. Vella, A. Calarco, P. Cerruti, M. Malinconico, G. Gomez d’Ayala

“The effect of the surface charge of hydrogel supports on thermophilic biohydrogen production”

Bioresource Technology - 2010, 101 (12): 4386-4394. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.01.061.

  • F.M. Vella, I. Romano, B. Immirzi and A. Gambacorta

“Production of poly(hydroxyalkanoates) by Halomonas pantelleriensis grown on glycerol from bio-diesel”

Research & Reviews in Polymer - 2010, 1 (1): 10-15.

  • G. d’Ippolito, L. Dipasquale, F.M. Vella, I. Romano, A. Gambacorta, A. Cutignano, A. Fontana

“Hydrogen metabolism in the extreme thermophile Thermotoga neapolitana

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy - 2010, 35 (6): 2290-2295. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2009.12.044.

  • G. Strazzullo, A. Gambacorta, F.M. Vella, B. Immirzi, I. Romano, V. Calandrelli, B. Nicolaus, L. Lama

“Chemical-physical characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates recovered by means of a simplified method from cultures of Halomonas campaniensis

World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology - 2008, 24 (8): 1513-1519. DOI: 10.1007/s11274-007-9637-7.

  • M.A. Basile, P. Cerruti, A. Gambacorta, G. Gomez d’Ayala, P. Laurienzo, M. Malinconico, F.M. Vella, L. Dipasquale

“Development of novel polymer matrices for biotechnological hydrogen production”

Proceedings of the Polymer Processing Society 24th Annual Meeting PPS24 - Salerno, 2008. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1969.0642.

  • A. Giordano, F.M. Vella, I. Romano, A. Gambacorta

“Structural elucidation of a novel phosphoglycolipid isolated from six species of Halomonas genus”

Journal of Lipid Research - 2007, 48 (8): 1825-1831. DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M700152-JLR200.

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