Wolfram Demonstrations: Free Interactive Software for Food Engineering Education and Practice
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The Wolfram Demonstrations Project on the web offers a freely downloadable interactive program, ‘Mathematica Player’, which can be used to view and manipulate about six thousands Demonstrations to date. They have been contributed by professionals and amateurs from around the world and include many that elucidate scientific and engineering principles through graphical displays. Some can also be used to do actual engineering calculations, and of these, about forty have been developed specifically for food and food engineering applications. The Project’s Demonstrations are all esthetically attractive, give brief written explanations of the displays and provide short descriptions of the theory behind them. Each also gives typical or representative examples, which are shown with their corresponding parameter settings. Once a Demonstration is downloaded, the user can enter and modify the display parameters using sliders on the screen and watch the effect almost instantaneously. This makes the Demonstrations a powerful teaching and learning tool and an effective aid to professionals in routine engineering calculations. In this review, the food-related Demonstrations are briefly described and their potential role in Food Engineering education and practice is assessed.
KeywordsUnit operations Mass balance Heat transfer Particulates Flow Microbial growth Microbial inactivation Risk assessment Kinetics
The authors own participation in the Wolfram Demonstration Project has been largely supported by the University of Massachusetts Center of Learning, under the PMYR program, and by the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station at Amherst.
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