College of Engineering

Campbell Soup Company – Vegetable Products Processing

Campbell Soup is the world’s largest maker and marketer of soup and also a leading producer of juice beverages, sauces, biscuits and confectionery products. The Campbell Soup Company World Headquarters and Corporate Research and Development facilities are in nearby Camden, NJ. Campbell has sponsored Clinic projects for two consecutive years.

In a project sponsored on 2001-2002, a team of students researched cutting-edge technologies such as novel membrane processes and supercritical fluid technology for the processing of soups and juices. The multidisciplinary team consisted of two undergraduate chemical engineering students, one civil engineering student, and one biology student. In addition, one master’s student served as a project manager. Through this project students investigated advanced membrane separation techniques as well as enzymatic, thermal, and physical/mechanical treatment techniques applied to vegetable processing. Their responsibility included HAZOP analysis, project planning, budget formulation and management, literature and patent reviews, experimental design, and development of a proposal for a second phase of the clinic project. In addition to the engineering expertise the students acquired through this project, they gained familiarity with Food and Drug Administration regulations, Good Manufacturing Practices, and labeling requirements.

Engineers from Campbell’s demonstrated a high level of commitment to the project and to the student learning by attending monthly progress meetings. At these meetings, students gave oral presentations on their progress. This was followed by brainstorming and discussion sessions in which the industrial representatives, faculty, and refocused and fine-tuned the project. This industrial interaction helped maintain a high level of motivation among the students, and maintained the focus and a fast pace of productivity. In addition to the progress meetings, the student team also conducted two “lunch-and-learn” seminars at Campbell’s to share their research with engineers, scientists, and marketing representatives from the Company. The enthusiastic response of the audience at Campbell’s reaffirmed the industrial relevance and impact of the team’s clinic research project. Students were surprised by the high interest level exhibited by the marketing employees who believed that the project would significantly impact product marketing.

Campbell Soup Company is a strong supporter of our program, not only supporting the clinic project mentioned above, but also employing both full-time and internship students from our program. In the summer following the vegetable processing project, two Rowan undergraduate students accepted summer internships at Campbell’s. The students had the rewarding experience of successfully implementing two of the technologies developed at Rowan into Campbell’s processing facilities in California and New Jersey.