D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL 3A487


Basic knowledge of chemistry, physics, food chemical composition and basics on energy management of the agro-food industries. 

Development of the course

The didactic method is based on ppt lectures (6 CFU) (provided in copies to the students) and laboratory experiences and visits to local and national food industries (3 CFU).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

The course enables students to acquire the adequate knowledge about unit operation technologies applied in the food industries by means of the recognition of the field of employment, advantages and limits of each technology.  


Applying knowledge and understanding

(a) developing the capability of integration of information, both in horizontal way (technological, chemical) and in vertical way (technological operations management along the production chain);

(b) capability of evaluate the potentiality of the operation technologies taking into account the chemical and nutritional proprieties  of raw materials and the processed foods;

(c) Ability to predict the effects of the technological process on the quality and shelf-life of the food.



(a) making judgements: capability of identify the information be needed to improve the efficiency of the processes and the quality of the final products;

(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. Stability of foods: biological, physical and chemical alteration of foods; water activity; the effect of water activity on reaction kinetics of food deterioration; relative humidity of food, adsorption isotherms; (1.5 ECTS)
  2. Thermal stabilization of foods: mechanism for heat transfer in food; principles of the thermal destruction of microorganisms; thermal damage of foods. (0.5 ECTS)
  3. Thermal treatment of foods: pasteurization, heat sterilization. Batch and continuous technological system for heat treatment of foods. Continuous-flow heat exchangers: plate and tubular heat exchangers. Examples of technological equipment for milk pasteurization and sterilization.  (2 ECTS). Homogenization of milk. Membrane filtration.
  4. Heat treatment to concentrate the liquid foods: evaporation. Single and multiple effect evaporation. Evaporation equipment: open pans, horizontal-tube evaporators, vertical-tube evaporators, plate evaporators, long-tube evaporators, forced-circulation evaporators, evaporation for heat-sensitive liquids. (0.5 ECTS)
  5. Drying of foods: air and contact drying under atmospheric pressure, freeze drying. Dry equipment: tray dryers, tunnel dryers, roller or drum dryers, fluidized bed dryers, spray dryers, pneumatic dryers, rotary dryers, bin dryers, vacuum dryers. The stages of the lyophilization process. Influence of freezing conditions on the quality of freeze dried food. Advantages of lyophilization process. (1.5 ECTS)
  6. Packaging of foods: protection of food; mass transfer through the packaging; passive and active packaging, intelligent packaging, and interactive packaging. Relationship between packaging and the shelf life of a food (1.5 ECTS)
  7. Traditional and innovative technologies in olive oil production. Influence of technology on the quality of olive oil. (0.5 ECTS)
  8. Technological process for seed oil extraction: pressing, extraction by solvent, and a combination of pressing and extraction by solvent. The steps of the refining process of the oil: degumming, chemical or physical refining, bleaching, deodorization and winterization (1 ECTS)

Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on the subjects listed in the teaching program.


Learning evaluation criteria

The student will have to demonstrate knowledge of: (a) the effects of technological process on the alteration and shelf-life of foods; (b) the technological treatments applied to the thermal stabilization, concentration and drying of foods; (c) appropriate food packaging solutions (d) technological process for vegetable oil production and refining; (e) appropriate usage of technical terminology.


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 consist of six 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 evaluate the potentiality of each unit operation along the technological process


Recommended reading


1. Pompei C. “Operazioni Unitarie Tecnologia Alimentare” Ambrosiana Editore (2009)

2. P. J. Fellows “Food Processing Technology: Principles and Practice” Third edition (2009) - Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge England.

3. R. L. Earle “Unit Operations in Food Processing” – Free Web edition by Dick and Mary Earle, with the support of the NZIFST: http://www.nzifst.org.nz/unitoperations/index.htm

4. R.P. Singh, D.R. Heldman “Principi di tecnologia alimentare” Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (2015)


  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
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