Unit Operations in Food Processing & Engineering

FDSCTE 5400 – Unit Operations in Food Processing

FABENG 4410 – Unit Operations in Food Engineering

Spring Semester  3 Credits U G

Lecture Tu Th 8:00AM – 8:55AM

Recitation Mo 9:10AM – 11:55AM & 3:00-5:45 PM

Download syllabus from here  Spring-2021-Syllabus


By the end of the course, the students should:

  •  Familiar with basic unit operation principles of several food processing methods including thermal pasteurization, retorting, blanching, freezing, dehydration, advanced thermal preservation (aseptic processing, ohmic heating, microwave heating), nonthermal processing (high pressure processing, pulsed electric field processing, irradiation), separation and concentration, and extrusion.
  • Learn basic components of different process equipment and unit operation associated with them. Role of packaging material in food preservation.
  • Identify key food processing and product parameters that can influence microbiological safety and quality of the processed product.
  • Understand the importance of uniform application of lethal agent for ensuring microbial safety and quality.
  • Appreciate the importance of kinetic models in food process development. Calculate some key food process parameters such as D, z and process lethality using a computer.
  • Appreciate the importance of integrating engineering, chemistry, microbiology and other disciplines for processing microbiologically safe, wholesome foods.


Study of unit operations in preserving foods by thermal and alternative food processing methods. Recitation through problem solving and experimentation. Interdependence of food engineering, chemistry, and microbiology principles in food preservation.
 Prereq: Micrbiol 520 or equiv, or FABEng 2120, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 584 or FdScTe 630. Cross-listed in FdScTe 5400.


Food industry is in need of knowledgeable food engineers and scientists with background in engineering, chemistry, microbiology, consumer acceptance among others. Food engineers and scientists encounter variety of challenges in day-to-day job which include but not limited to develop novel food processes, operate a food process equipment, evaluate microbial safety, formulate new products, reformulate existing products to meet changing consumer demand, test nutritional content of processed food, develop strategies for improving manufacturing and packaging operation, enforce certain federal and state regulations for making safe product, and study consumer acceptance of formulated products. Many of the food industry job function also require team work.

Thus, it critical to understand what are the different engineering unit operations, how are used in making different food process operations work, underlying physics behind these processes, and their advantage and limitation. It is important to understand the process and packaging parameters that make the food safe and preserve food quality. During the semester we will also learn to do simple process calculations that may help answer “what-if” type processing questions. .

Hopefully, our journey during the semester will help you to better appreciate the importance and benefits of integrating knowledge from engineering, chemistry and microbiology for controlling different food process.


The material covered during lecture and recitation will come from several sources including the following books. Some of these books are available through OSU e-book (http://library.osu.edu/find/collections/science-engineering-library/ebooks/) While these books are valuable resources, you do not have purchase any of them for class purpose. In addition, you may find journal articles as additional valuable resources. Class notes posted through Carmen website.

  • R.P. Singh and D.R. Heldman. 2009. Introduction to Food Engineering. Elsevier.
  • Earle, R.L. and M.D. Earle. Unit Operations in Food Processing. http://www.nzifst.org.nz/unitoperations/
  • Zhang, H.Q., Barbosa-Canavas, Gustavo V., VM Balasubramaniam, C. Patrick Dunne, Daniel Farkas, and James T.C. Yuan. 2011. Nonthermal Processing Technologies for Food. IFT Press.
  • Fellows. 2009. Food Processing Technology, Principles and Practice, Third edition. Woodhead Publishing Lmt, England.
  • Saravacos, G., A. E. Kostaropoulos. 2002. Handbook of Food Processing Equipment. Kluwer Academic.
  • D.R. Heldman, R. W. Hartel. 1998. Principles of Food Processing Aspen.


The course consists of two lectures and one recitation session per week.  Background reading material on various lectures & PowerPoint slides will be posted via Carmen. You are encouraged to review / read the material in advance of the class. Bring a calculator for both lecture & recitation session

 Week 1

  • unit operations
  • Kinetics models for food safety and quality
  • Thermometry
  • Lab/Recitation: basic principles review


  • Food preservation by application of heat
  • Blanching
  • Pasteurization
  • Sous vide
  • Lab/Recitation: determine time constant for thermometer

Week 3

  • Heat Sterilization
  • Thermal process calculations
  • Extended shelf life foods
  • Aseptic Processing
  • Lab/Recitation: heat penetration in selected canned products. Calculation of accumulated lethality

Week 4

  • Microwave heating
  • Lab/Recitation: thermal process calculations (estimation of D, z, and F values)

Week 5

  • Ohmic heating
  • Lab/Recitation: hold tube length calculation during aseptic processing

Week 6

  • Preserving food by heat removal – Food freezing
  • Lab/Recitation: advanced thermal process calculation

Week 7

  • Minimal processing – High pressure processing
  • Pulsed electric field processing
  • Lab/Recitation: calculation of freezing time

Week 9

  • Preserving food by removing water – Dehydration
  • Lab/Recitation, minimal food processing

Week 10

  • Nonthermal processing-Food irradiation
  • Lab/Recitation, psychrometric chart & dehydration calculation

Week 11

  • Combination process
  • Lab/Recitation: irradiation

Week 11

  • Extrusion processing
  • Lab/Recitation: extrusion parameter


Week 12

  • Separation, concentration
  • Lab/Recitation” separation and concentration

Week 13

  • Evaporation
  • Lab/Recitation: evaporation

Week 14

  • Food Processing Sustainability
  • Lab/Recitation: case study

Week 15

  • Importance of federal regulations pertinent to food processing
  • Lab/Recitation: review



Efforts will be made to assign quizzes every week. Quiz will be available through CARMEN website every Thursday 9 AM and closes by Wednesday 5.0 pm. It is your responsibility to take quiz within assigned time frame (no extensions will be provided). Materials covered during earlier week will be tested The primary purpose of quiz is to encourage you to learn material covered & practice problems.


Carmen is the primary web-based course management system supported by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at the Ohio State University. To log into Carmen and see your online courses, first use your web browser to open a link to carmen.osu.edu. A login box is on the left side of the screen that appears. Type your username and password and click on the Log In button. In most cases, your Carmen username is the same as your OSU Internet username (the name you use for checking your e-mail, etc.). For example: doe.999. When entering your username, be certain your caps lock is off and that you type it all in lowercase. If you are having problems please contact Carmen at (614)688-HELP (4357)