Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: ROSA PALMERI

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide a description of Unit Operations and the main processes of catering and organized distribution, as well as the chemical-physical phenomena and transformations that occur in food. The course focuses on the problems and interactions that exist between product, process and storage within the catering production processes. In particular, material and energy balances applied to the main production processes characteristic of the Mediterranean area, the transport of bound heat and the main conservation techniques, the shelf life of food, cooking techniques, the structuring of ready meals and menus. Finally, the course will focus on the production processes and issues related to the main productions of the Mediterranean area, such as wine, milk, oil and bakery products through case studies applied to catering.

The course aims to provide students with: the knowledge necessary to understand and face the problems in the transformation and production of a food. In particular, attention will be focused on the interactions between raw materials and transformation processes to obtain a high quality food

Course Structure

Lectures and exercises (classroom and company), also on line

If teaching is done in mixed or remote mode, specific changes to the program may need to be made

Information for students with disabilities or SLD

To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can request a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on the educational objectives and specific needs.

It is also possible to contact the CInAP (Centre for Active and Participatory Inclusion - Services for Disabilities and/or SLD) contact teachers of our Department, prof. Anna De Angelis.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of mathematics, physics and general chemistry is essential

Attendance of Lessons


Detailed Course Content

  1. Introduction to the course. Description of the transformation processes of raw materials and their meaning and problems relating to food preparations and critical process points
  2. Definition of Unit Operations: Traditional Unit Operation,  Innovative Unit Operations and Mild Technologies 
  3. Mass and energy balances
  4. Heat exchangers
  5. Food Preservation Methods: food ranges quality of the raw material, cold storage, preservation with heat, ready to eat, 
  6. Shelf life
  7. Cooking techniques
  8. Ready meals
  9. Structuring of menus
  10. Case studies and problems related to the production of wine, milk, oil and bakery products

Textbook Information


  1. Cappellano S. 2009. Manuale della ristorazione. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
  2. Cappelli P., Vannucchi V. 2005. Chimica degli alimenti. Terza edizione, Zanichelli.
  3. Todaro A., Palmeri R., Alberio, Spagna G. 2020. TECNOLOGIE ALIMENTARI: PROBLEMI SVOLTI DI OPERAZIONI UNITARIE. Palermo University Press


  1. Singh P.R., Heldman D.R. 2019. Principi di tecnologia alimentare. Edizione italiana a cura di Giovannelli, Guidetti, Lucisano, Zanoni. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
  2. Melissano M. 2009. Alimenti e alimentazione Chimica, Igiene degli Alimenti e Tecnologia dei Processi Alimentari. Edagricole.  
  3. Cappelli P., Vannucchi V. 2020. Principi di chimica degli alimenti. Zanichelli 
  4. Menaggia G., Roncalli W. 2015. L'Industria Agroalimentare. Franco Lucisano Editore
  5. Fellow P.J. 2016 4th edition. Food Processing Technology: Principles and Practice. Woodhead Publishing
  6. Del Carmen Lomas Esteban M. 2002. Introduccion al calculo de los procesos tecnologicos de los alimentos. Acribia, S.A. (Espana)

Cappellano S.Manuale della ristorazione  Ambrosiana2009
Cappelli - VannucchiChimica degli alimentiZanichelli2005
Cappelli - VannucchiPrincipi di chimica degli alimentiZanichelli2020

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Definition of Unit OperationsLecture notes by the teacher
2Mass and energy  balances applied to Mediterranean processes Lecture notes by the teacher
3Heat transport in catering food processesLecture notes by the teacher
4Food preservation operationsText n. 2 - part 4, chapters 11; 12; 13; 14; 15
5Thermal preservation processesLecture notes by the teacher
6La shelf life of foodsLecture notes by the teacher
7Technological processes in cateringText n.1 - part II, chapters 8, 9,10, 11, 12
8The design of meals and menusText n. 1 - part I, chapters 2; 3; 4;
9Wine production processText n. 2 - part 8, chapter 27
10Production process of milk and derivative productsText n. 2 - part 5, chapters 17; 18; 19
11Production process of olive oil and vegetable fatsText n. 2 - part 7, chapters 23; 24
12Production process of bakery productsText n. 2 - part 8, chaapter 25

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The final exam consists of a written and oral test, which include the discussion of the exercises related to mass and energy balances, heat exchange and evaluation of shelf life. The oral exam will be completed with the discussion of the remaining topics included in the program. The final mark will be the weighted average of the written and oral marks. The ability to solve numerical problems will be evaluated through the application of the appropriate mathematical and physical relationships; the ability to describe physical and biological phenomena, principles of organization and management of productive contexts, with properties of language, analytical and synthesis skills.

Whenever possible, intermediate written tests will be carried out, relating to exercises relating to mass and energy balances, heat exchange and evaluation of shelf life. Passing the mid-term test allows you to take a final exam which excludes the topics covered by the test, the grade of the mid-term exam contributes to the final grade, in a weighted way.


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Important shortcomings. Significant inaccuracies
Ability to analyze and synthesize: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize
Use of references: Completely inappropriate
Knowledge and understanding of the topic: At the threshold level. Obvious imperfections
Analysis and synthesis skills: Just enough skills
Use of references: As appropriate
Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Routine knowledge Analysis and synthesis skills: It is capable of correct analysis and synthesis. Argue logically and consistently
Using references: Use standard references
Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Good knowledge
Analysis and synthesis skills: Has good analysis and synthesis skills. The arguments are expressed consistently
Using references: Use standard references
Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Knowledge more than good
Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis
Use of references: Has explored the topics

Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Excellent knowledge
Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis.
Use of references: Important insights.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

exercises relating to the resolution of mass and energy balances, heat treatments and shelf life

examples of oral test questions: description of food preservation techniques; description of the production process of wine, milk and derivatives and oil with particular reference to the quality indices of the products; bread production process