From the Left: Carlo Petrini, Chiarman UNISG - Giuseppe Carino, VP Guest Experience and Onboard Revenues Costa Cruises -Michele Fino, Associate Professor UNISG -Neil Palomba, President Costa Cruises - Stefania Lallai, Sustainability & PR Director Costa Cruises.
A three-year  project promoting sustainable food onboard cruise ships has been inked by Costa Cruises and the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo.

The project aims at developing research that, by enhancing the flavour and taste of good food, focuses on quality-oriented research, respect for the environment, increasing awareness of a healthy diet and reducing waste, said a company release.

Thanks to this agreement, Costa and UNISG will begin working together to reassess some onboard food preparing processes, to select products and suppliers based on sustainability factors, to provide guests with information that will enhance their awareness of the importance and value of food, and to provide training for Costa personnel at UNISG.

“Food and nutrition are main issues in people’s lives, and basic factors in choosing  a cruise," said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. "Our company has always offered very high quality in this area, proposing Italy’s finest on board its ships. Now, we want to go one step forward, and look toward the future. The agreement being presented today will allow us to enhance the importance of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, giving our guests the pleasure of tasting food that is “good” from all points of view: for the palate, for a healthy and balanced diet, for one’s well-being and for the environment. It will be another voyage in the voyage that we offer to those who choose a vacation with Costa”.

Silvio Barbero, vice-President of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, added: “We are delighted to offer UNISG’s experience for an innovation-based project in such a specific sector like that of Costa Cruises. These cooperative efforts will allow us, through our holistic approach, to make an impact on the food production and service models and can provide additional food for thought to replicate similar experiences and create new challenges in the sector. UNISG research, and our branch dedicated to innovation and company relations in particular, is specialising in supporting real projects that lead to change in both methods and consumption. This makes us very optimistic about what the future may hold”.

The first result of this important project is the introduction of pizzas prepared exclusively with natural yeast, available starting Dec. 5 onboard the Costa Diadema.. To present this gastronomic innovation to guests, the Italian company created a new brand, Pummid’oro, which will become a distinctive feature of the onboard pizzerias.   

All dough will be made with natural yeast, thus becoming more natural, easier to digest and with an excellent nutritional content. Thanks to the consulting services of UNISG, Costa acquired a natural yeast generator from an Italian company to optimise onboard management of this food.

There will also be a specific training program for Costa pizza makers taught by educators of the Advanced Apprenticeship of Bread of UNISG in Pollenzo, for which the theoretical part on preparing pizza with natural yeast will be presented through lessons in chemistry, microbiology and food technologies.