D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: basic knowledge of energy management of the agro-food factories; knowledge of the unit operations of the food processing; basics of food microbiology and food safety.
The course consists of a balance of theoretical lectures (4 ECTS, 36 hours) and other activities, such as classroom practicals, carried out individually or in small groups, seminars and visits to local and national food plants and factories (2 ECTS, 18 hours, in all). An e-learning course is available in parallel with the lectures. It includes: the educational material organised in learning units, the materials and instructions for the classroom practicals, self-evaluation tests and results, information for seminars and visits.
Knowledge and understanding:
The course aims to provide students with the essential knowledge and good understanding of the physical, technological and microbiological aspects of the many exciting, emerging, alternative technologies that have potential for enhancing the safety and quality of food and beverage.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
(a) capability of evaluate the potentiality of innovative technologies in food processes; (b) capability of foresee the effects of novel processes on safety and quality of the food products; (c) ability to identify and carry out strategies for the optimization of a technological or biotechnological process for the production of food and beverages.
(a) making judgements: plan actions and manage activities aiming to improve the quality and the efficiency of food and beverage production and related activities; (b) communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the agro-food supply chain (engineers, biologists, chemists, nutritionists, administrators).
1. Background: thermal preservation technologies. Kinetic models and parameters for inactivation of microbial populations. Microbiological critical factors (1.5 ECTS).
2. Electrothermal alternative preservation technologies: Ohmic and inductive heating; microwaves and radio frequencies. Definition, description and applications. Critical process factors (1 ECTS).
3. Non-thermal preservation processes: High pressure processing; Pulsed electric field. Description of technologies. Applications. Kinetic models and parameters for inactivation of microbial pathogens. Current limitations (1 ECTS).
4. Other alternative preservation processes: High voltage arc discharge; Pulsed light; Oscillating magnetic fields; Ultrasound; Irradiation (Ultraviolet light; X-Rays). Definition, description and applications. Critical process factors. Research needs (1.5 ECTS).
5. Other novel applications of microwaves, and ultrasound in the food industry (1 ECTS).
Learning evaluation methods
Oral discussion on three of the subjects listed in the teaching program. During the course, there are also going to be available self-evaluation tests (e-learning mode), in order to provide the students useful information about their skill level.
Learning evaluation criteria
The student will have to demonstrate: (a) knowledge of principles and applications of alternative preservation technologies; (b) sound knowledge and understanding of the effects of novel processes on safety and quality of the food products; (c) appropriate usage of the technical lexicon.
Learning measurement criteria
The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 with honors.
Final mark allocation criteria
The oral examination consists of three questions concerning the subjects listed in the teaching program, each of ones will be quantified in the range 0 - 10.
In order to pass the examination, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) overall understanding of the subjects; (b) appropriate usage of technical terminology. In order to obtain the best evaluation, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subjects; (b) fluency in the usage of the technical lexicon; (c) ability to solve problems about kinetic models and parameters for inactivation of microbial populations.
Gustavo V. Barbosa-Canovas, Maria S. Tapia, M. Pilar Cano. Novel Food Processing Technologies. CRC Press, 2004.
Özlem Tokuşoğlu, Barry G. Swanson. Improving Food Quality with Novel Food Processing Technologies. CRC Press, 2014.
All other educational material is available on the e-learning web platform.