Food technology and biotechnology
Study-unit Code
Tecnologie olivicolo-olearie
Andrea Nicolini
  • Andrea Nicolini
  • 54 ore - Andrea Nicolini
Course Regulation
Coorte 2024
Learning activities
Discipline delle tecnologie alimentari
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Pumps and compressors. Compression and absorption refrigerating machines. Air conditioning and psychrometric diagram. Thermotechnical plants for agricultural and food factories. Thermal conduction and Postulate of Fourier. Convection. Radiation. Adduction. Heat exchangers. Energy from renewables for agro-food factories. Acoustics and noise control.
Reference texts
1. M. Felli: Lezioni di Fisica Tecnica 1: Termodinamica, Macchine, Impianti, Nuova edizione a cura di Francesco Asdrubali, Morlacchi editore, 2004.
2. M. Felli: Lezioni di Fisica Tecnica 2: Trasmissione del Calore, Acustica, Tecnica dell'illuminazione, Nuova edizione a cura di Cinzia Buratti, Morlacchi editore, 2004.
3. Handouts by the teacher
Educational objectives
The course of Applied Physics for Food Factories has the main aim of giving to the students the fundamentals about cooling and thermal plants for food factories, their specific components (heat exchangers, compressors, hydraulic pumps), their working cycles and parameters that characterize the energy performances. Furthermore, the course gives to the students the fundamentals about heat transfer, with the aim of highlighting their application to the processes that characterize the agro-food chain. Lastly, an other aim is to give to the students the concepts and basic notions concerning noise problems at the workplace and in the external environment, with particular reference to the noise sources of the agro-food chain.
Main knowledge acquired will be:
1. the main mode and relations for the fluid motion.
2. the main components of different types of refrigeration machines.
3. the working parameters of different types of refrigeration machines.
4. the schemes and working cycles of refrigeration machines.
5. the state diagrams useful in refrigeration.
6. the working schemes of the main air conditioning systems.
7. the main methods for freezing food products.
8. the existing heat transfer methods and their equations.
9. the basic acoustic parameters.
10. the main laws and standards in acoustics.
The main competence (i.e. the ability to apply the acquired knowledge) will be:
1. Being able to identify the cooling capacity of a refrigerating machine compatible with certain specifications.
2. Knowing how to calculate the efficiency of a refrigerating machine.
3. Knowing how to calculate the energetic efficiency of a thermal machine.
4. Being able to analyze the air treatment on the psychrometric chart.
5. Being able to identify the system most suitable for freezing food products.
6. Knowing how to apply the heat transfer mathematical equations related to applicative cases.
7. Knowing how to find the thermal insulation material suitable for a given application.
8. Knowing how to evaluate the possibility of annoyance or ear damage due to the noise produced from machines in the food chain.
It is indispensable to know the basic principles of mathematical analysis (such as derivatives and integrals) and useful to know the basics of thermodynamics in order to understand and know how to apply most of the technologies described in this course.
Teaching methods
Methods of teaching
Lesson hours: 52
Laboratory exercises N. hours: 2
Laboratory rounds N.: 4
Supports for Teaching and Learning:
- Video projections of the lesson
- Educational materials distributed by the teacher
- Recommended texts for the study
- Handouts given by the teacher
- Handouts available on web site

Learning mode (in addition to the attendance of teaching activities):
- Reading and personal study on reference books
- Reading and personal study on material given by the teacher
- Reading and personal study on online material made available by the teacher
- practice of laboratory skills
- practice of technical skills
Other information
Frequency: recommended
Location: Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science
Calendar of didactical activities: Check the website of the Department: dsa3.unipg.it
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of an oral test, an interview of about 30 minutes long aiming to ascertaining the knowledge level and the understanding capability acquired by the students on the theoretical and methodological contents as indicated on the program. The student will be asked questions that will focus on the topics of the three macro sectors associated with applied physics for food factories that make the course (which are applied thermodynamics, heat transfer, applied acoustics).
Extended program
1. Applications of Thermodynamics.
Basics: entropy and enthalpy. States of aggregation. State diagram of a pure substance. T-s, h-s, P-h state diagrams. Exergy. Open thermodynamic systems. Bernoulli and continuity equations. Fluid motion and hydraulic machines. Properties of fluids in motion. Laminar and turbulent conditions. Pressure drops. Moody diagram. Hydraulic pumps, fans and compressors. Thermal machines. Internal combustion engines and cogeneration. Thermotechnical plants for agro-food factories. Cooling machines. Compression cooling machines: domestic refrigerator. Outline of compression heat pumps. Absorption cooling machines: PTX diagrams, mass balance. Outline of absorption heat pumps. Cold transport and stores. Air Conditioning. The atmospheric air. Psychrometric parameters. Psychrometric ASHRAE diagram. Air treatments. Description of air conditioner. Fixed point regulation. All-air conditioning systems. Primary air and fan coils systems. Outline of technologies for conditioning and distribution of food products. Drying and curing plants. Distillation plants. Energy savings: biomass plants. Environmental sustainability of products and processes of food factories.
Lab exercises
Examples of air-conditioning systems and use of psychrometer. Lab examples of cooling applications on existing systems, of energy saving measures and use of renewable sources.
2. Heat Transmission
Conduction. Thermal fields. Postulate and equation of Fourier. Flat wall with inner heat generation. Multilayer wall. Convection: phenomenon analysis. Boundary layer. Natural and forced convection. Dimensional analysis. Prandlt, Reynolds, Grashof and Nusselt numbers. Radiation. Radiative energy: laws, properties, absorption constant. Emission and absorption properties of condensed bodies. Principle of Kirchhoff. Black body laws. Radiative properties of bodies. Greenhouse effect. Heat exchange between flat facing surfaces. Applications: adduction. Flat wall between two fluids: transmittance. Wall with interstice. Opaque wall exposed to solar radiation. Heat exchangers. Cooling of a body (fruit, meat and other food products). Circuits of heat distribution. Glass wall exposed to solar radiation. Thermo-insulation materials. Cooling fin. Solar energy: characteristics, thermal panels, efficiency evaluation.

3. Acoustics and noise control
Fundamental acoustic parameters. Acoustic waves and fields: propagation, sources and spectra. Normal Audiogram. Noises and annoyance from noise. Reverberation. Noise absorption and insulation. Measures for noise control. Noise measurement and control in agricultural and food factories.
Lab Exercises
Acoustic equipment. Phonometer.
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