Secondment of Marco Panzanini from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza (IT) to Decorgel (PT) (3rd of July-31st July and 15th September – 15th December 2022).

It was my first experience abroad not as a tourist and now I know that I couldn’t have been luckier than with the FODIAC  opportunity.

To maximise the surprise effect, I had not looked for photos of Braga before my departure, so when I exited from the GET bus from Porto’s airport, I was fascinated by the city’s beauty.

The day after, I went to Decorgel to meet Miguel, my supervisor, and all the staff warmly welcomed me. The same happened when I went to INL to analyse our product, so I learned that Portuguese people are incredibly gentle and expansive. The positive environment at work made the experience pleasant and allowed me to have all the instruments and the calm to successfully develop my secondment.

Miguel supported and advised me in my proposal of creating new ingredients from a mango base. The citrus fibre was added to form an emulsion, and then the texture was modulated using pectins to form an emulsion-filled hydrogel.

In my free time, I had the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful places in Portugal, like:

Porto and its magical atmosphere:

And Lisbon, my favourite city, where I could feel at home:

I had fallen in love with the cathedral of Sameiro, where I went every time I could enjoy the best view of Braga and stay alone with my thoughts.

But as an Italian, I felt the necessity to share my culture with all my roommates…

And I had never met so many good friends.

I want to thank everyone that allowed me to live one of the best experiences I have ever had.