Non-traditional laboratory experiments: Olive oil manufacturing and testing. Part I: Freshman engineering experiments

M. P. Gifford, E. G. Cervo, M. J. Savelski, S. Farrell, R. P. Hesketh, C. S. Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Olive oil manufacturing and processing involves the application of many fundamental chemical engineering principles and unit operations. These operations are not, however, traditionally explored in the chemical engineering curriculum. This paper presents the first set of experiments created as part of an NSF funded project whose goal is to incorporate the processes involved with the production and analysis of olive oil into undergraduate chemical engineering laboratories, illustrating the concepts of fluid mechanics, separations, process optimization, chemical analysis, experimental methods, food engineering, and many others. In this paper, modeling of the filtration pressing of olives and oils properties were explored. Using a standard fluid mechanics model, fitted parameters representing the resistances of the filtering materials were determined to be dependent on applied pressure. The experiment based on the modeling of pressing can be modified, and applied to unit operations, process fluid transport, and advanced separations. The fluid physical properties of olive oil, density and viscosity, were also measured, as a function of temperature. A laboratory for Rowan University's freshman clinic course was developed as an introduction to measurement and laboratory techniques based on these experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13773-13784
Number of pages12
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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