At the beginning of the current academic year, the agricultural portal Agrobusiness.md, based within the Tekwill Center of Excellence in ICT, declared that the students of the Technical University of Moldova will have access to some of the best laboratory equipment in the field of food industry, thanks to investments made with the support of the “Livada Moldovei” project.
The total of 9 labs that have been set up will provide new spaces in which students will spend their classes much more interactively. The contribution of Livada Moldovei to the project reached almost 2 million euros. These investments also applied to the thermal insulation of the building of the Faculty of Food Technology of UTM (500 thousand euros).
Double-glazed windows were installed on an area of 1600 sq.m and walls were thermally insulated on an area of 3100 sq.m..
Thermal insulation will help save a considerable amount of resources that are allocated for district heating. Undoubtedly, increased thermal comfort will be ensured for about 800 students and 70 teachers from the Faculty of Food Technology.
#1. Processes and devices in the food industry
“In this laboratory, the analysis of mechanical and thermal processes is conducted. Students will have the opportunity to analyze their causes and essence. The laboratory was equipped with apparatus for mixing, filtering, analysis of heat processes – heat treatment by various methods. Thanks to these machines, all the technological processes are carried out, but we also have equipment that belongs to the applied technology of processes”, declared Natalia ȚÂSLINSCAIA – head of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
#2. Automation of technological equipment
The laboratory is equipped with apparatus that allows the control of the operating regime of the equipment intended for the field of food industry.
“For some products it is necessary to maintain a constant temperature so as to obtain the finished product with the qualities we want. Students will be able to follow the heat treatment process, the pressure, flow and other details, while adjusting them as needed. The settings are automatic, and the process can be monitored remotely. All types of sensors used in the food industry are available in this laboratory”, specified Marin GUȚU, head of the “Mechanical Engineering” program.
#3. Scientific research in the study of drying process kinetics
In this laboratory, the various methods of the drying process of products are studied, such as the classic method – by convection or sublimation.
“In this laboratory, we can analyze how air speed, temperature and pressure influence the drying process, and, if necessary, how these parameters can be modified. Other aspects include the drying of different liquids, such as obtaining powdered milk, eggs or juice”, added Marin GUȚU.
#4. Refrigeration and air conditioning systems
„The laboratory is equipped with apparatus for studying the efficiency of refrigeration installations and their control. For example, there are 3 refrigeration compressors that can be connected alternatively for operation. Thus, students can study the control of compressors and learn how to detect certain errors and fix them. We also have a machine for diagnosing refrigeration installations. 12 types of faults that can occur in them are simulated”, said Igor GÎDEI, head of the “Refrigeration machines and installations, air conditioning system” program.
“This goal was set some time ago, and we are extremely happy to have been able to achieve it. We managed to renovate the department thanks to the support of Livada Moldovei. We worked on both the endowment and the renovation. The equipment is high performance and meets international requirements. Thus, students will have access to the most modern technologies”, says Artur MACARI, head of the Food Technology Department.
#5. Food dehydration and refrigeration technology
The technology of food dehydration and refrigeration can be studied in this laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with the most advanced apparatus, where multiple analyzes can be performed.
“All students have access to the equipment, with which they can study the quality and safety indices of raw materials and semi-finished products, up to the finished product, including the processing of some products”.
#6. Food preservation technology
„In this laboratory, students have the opportunity to manufacture certain products depending on the chosen topic. They can dry apples, produce different fruit juices, that is, they can analyze the whole process, how certain indices have changed”.
#7. Sanitation and industrial hygiene
It is intended for determining health indices within the food industry. Students learn methods to determine air quality, sanitation of surfaces, equipment or water quality.
“The food industry cannot be conceived without hygiene and sanitation. Students will be able to determine the proportion of microorganisms and extremely dangerous bacteria in the food industry. High-performance microscopes and thermostats were purchased in this regard.”
#8. Food chemistry
In this laboratory, food quality indices can be determined: water chemistry, food additives (amount of dyes, natural or artificial sweeteners).
#9. Scientific laboratory
A laboratory within the food sector, where scientific research can be carried out. Here, the quality and quality indices of the products can be determined.
“Students can fulfill all their research ambitions with state-of-the-art equipment. This is what I dreamed of, and this is the path I took for implementing the project”, concluded Artur MACARI.