Course list

The journey of a food product, from the raw materials in a manufacturing plant to the final commodity sitting on grocery store shelves, involves a series of physical transformations. Mechanical unit operations are a foundational set of processes used to achieve these transformations that date back to pre-modern times and are crucial for shaping the final commodity.

In this course, you will examine mixing, emulsifying, homogenizing, and filtering as the key mechanical processes used in the food industry. Beginning with the underlying principles, you will build your understanding of how these processes create products that are not only desirable but also safer for consumption and shelf stable. You will assess the function and design of typical mechanical processing systems, which will help inform future decisions about best-suited applications in food and beverage production. This course will provide you with a sweeping view of the mechanisms, variables, and equipment that factor into a successful mechanical food processing operation.

Heat is a fundamental element in the food toolkit, playing a pivotal role in enhancing product quality, extending shelf life, ensuring commercial sterility, and preserving essential nutrients.

In this course, you will explore the thermal technologies of thermization, pasteurization, ultra-pasteurization, sterilization, aseptic processing, and refrigeration. You will then navigate through the steps that typify each operation and practice the calculations that are used to establish industry values. By identifying key process parameters, you'll not only assess efficiency rates but also establish connections to overall food safety measures, making the knowledge immediately applicable to real-world scenarios.

In this course, you will explore mass-based unit operations used in the food processing industry, examining the industry tools, techniques, and processes that harness the physico-chemical properties and kinetics of molecules to transform raw food materials into the diverse products on our market shelves. You will evaluate the strategies and technological innovations commonly employed to optimize evaporation, dehydration, membrane separation, and extraction procedures. You will also observe how variables like product viscosity and heat sensitivity play a role in the selection of certain systems over others. By comparing the requirements and formulations for each mass transfer method, you will gain insight into the most effective ways to ensure the quality, safety, and sustainability of processed food commodities.

In this course, you will explore the cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that distinguish nonthermal unit operations. These innovations revolutionize product safety and appeal, all without the reliance on high temperatures. Our exploration spans a diverse array of products, including packaged meats, juices, dairy, and seafood.

You will begin by examining industrial settings for nonthermal unit operations, differentiating the equipment, mechanisms, and parameters associated with various strategies. You will navigate the consumer landscape by examining customer perception and demand, providing you with a comprehensive look at the advantages and drawbacks of these technologies. Through the careful analysis of each treatment, you will balance the variables that influence processing efficiency, allowing you to optimize systems and adapt to the changing environment of nonthermal unit operations within the food industry.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Mechanical Processes
  • Thermal Processes
  • Processes Based on Mass Transfer

Whether you're an aspiring chef or food scientist, or simply curious about what happens in the kitchen and the factory that creates your favorite foods, in this course, you will explore the operations of the food processing industry. You'll have the opportunity to examine the design and construction of commercial food processing equipment, the principles of machine and facility design, process controls, sanitation practices, and the art of food packaging.

As you delve into the applications of traditional and emerging facility procedures, technologies, and planning, you will discover how industry professionals navigate the many options and decisions required for the development of a successful food processing facility and put control mechanisms in place to keep operations running efficiently. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of the best ways to verify the effectiveness of sanitation and CIP (cleaning in place) schemes, which are key to ensuring safe, healthy products. Finally, you will evaluate the purpose and optimization of food packaging for various products.

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