LABORATORY SCALE FOOD TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIAL PROCESS SIMULATION

The present work aims to simulate a food Engineering process in a realizable practice in a regular college laboratory. University professor of food technology usually encounter problems when he does practices. These problems are often budgetary constraints, lack of industrial facilities at University or parasitism among students when practices are done by large groups. Although this is a winemaking practice specifically aimed work, it may inspire other university teachers to reproduce other industrial processes at laboratory scale.

The practice described in this work is a micro-fermentation method that simulates an industrial fermentation process. This allows each student to make three wine bottles of 0.75 L. Those bottles can be used in future practices in order to analyze basic wine quality parameters.

For that purpose a micro-glass tank (3.90 liters) is used with a fermentation valve installed, a food additive (sulfur dioxide E-220), commercial dehydrated yeast, 2000 ml Buchner funnel equipped with a 1500 ml filter flask, attached to a vacuum pump, a refrigerator to simulate cold industrial stabilization treatments, glass bottles and corcks. During fermentation process the student control the basic parameters monitored at industrial level (temperature and density).

The practice described in this work is reproducible in any food analysis laboratory. Practice can be done individually by each student. It requires a raw material volume of 4 kg instead of industrial minimum that varies from 200 to 5000 kg of grapes (smallest deposits available in market). This saves a considerable sum of money according to average prices of grapes in Spain that ranged from 0.20 to 3 €/kg. Moreover there are no need of great equipments as crusher destemmer (± 10000 €), presses (± 20000 €), large amounts of additives or big refrigeration units (± € 20,000 €).