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Green Chocolate? - Investigating the Sustainable Development of Chocolate Manufacturing in a Laboratory-Based Undergraduate Engineering Course

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Introductory Experiences in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.827.1 - 26.827.13



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Paper Authors


Alexander Vincent Struck Jannini Rowan University

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Alexander Struck Jannini is an adjunct professor at Rowan University. His previous work has been focused on incorporating aspects of pharmaceutical engineering into the undergraduate curriculum. Alex plans on continuing his education and receiving a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. His areas of interest are drug delivery and drug loading characteristics of dissolvable thin films.

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Mary Staehle Rowan University

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Dr. Mary Staehle is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. Before joining the faculty at Rowan in 2010, Dr. Staehle worked at the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics and Computational Biology at Thomas Jefferson University and received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. Her research is in the area of biomedical control systems, specifically neural regeneration. Dr. Staehle is also particularly interested in chemical, bio-, and biomedical engineering education.

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Joseph Francis Stanzione III Rowan University


Christian Michael Wisniewski Rowan University

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I am currently a junior chemical engineering student at Rowan University. I worked as a research assistant, designing experiments based on educating students on green engineering and sustainabilty.

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Green Chocolate? - Investigating the Sustainable Development of Chocolate Manufacturing in a Laboratory-Based Undergraduate Engineering CourseAn undergraduate, interdisciplinary engineering project was designed to introduce students toconcepts of food engineering; specifically, chocolate manufacturing, and how this area canbenefit from studies in sustainability, sustainable development, and social awareness. Theintended outcome of the semester-long project was to provide students with the necessary toolsto solve engineering problems holistically, including the socioeconomic and environmentalimpacts of their manufacturing solutions, processes, and products. Ninety interdisciplinaryfreshman engineering students were introduced to the manufacturing methods of chocolateproduction through experiments that investigated variability, mass balances, and energybalances. The cost of raw goods and energy, along with the social implications of chocolatemanufacturing, were also discussed and analyzed. The final deliverable of the project was achocolate truffle product with emphasis being placed on energy requirements, ingredient prices,health benefits, and the social impact of the cocoa beans used in the manufacturing process.Students then presented their chocolate truffles as if they were pitching their product to achocolate manufacturing plant management team. In this case, the management panel consistedof professors teaching the course who inquired about the product and its relevance to the fieldslisted above. To assess learning and social awareness, pre- and post-tests were administered.Preliminary results indicate that the course was effective in enhancing knowledge and awarenessof the social and environmental implications of chocolate manufacturing. A complete analysisand description will be presented in the final paper.

Struck Jannini, A. V., & Staehle, M., & Stanzione, J. F., & Wisniewski, C. M. (2015, June), Green Chocolate? - Investigating the Sustainable Development of Chocolate Manufacturing in a Laboratory-Based Undergraduate Engineering Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24164

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