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NUTR500 Advanced Culinary Nutrition Science in Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

Eating is integral to life and a multitude of factors affect the eating experience. The relationships between food, perceptions of food, the eating environment and food and beverage intake are only beginning to be understood. This microcredential will support students to obtain a critical understanding of the factors believed to influence the eating experience and dietary intakes, from the composition and function of ingredients to the dining environment. The aim of the microcredential is to help students acquire the complex high-level knowledge and understanding to solve nutrition related problems through highly innovative planning of food, eating environments and eating occasions that have high sensory appeal.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically examine the relationship between the functionality of single and composite ingredients and the sensory experience of eating/drinking (GA4, GA5);

LO2 - Demonstrate highly professional written communication skills (GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Composition and function of ingredients

Taste, odour, and flavour

Sensory experience of eating

Advanced sensory analysis

Influence of the eating environment design and gastrophysics

Sensory principles for healthy ingredient substitution

Food styling principles for the table, in plating and in amateur food photography

Scientific principles of preparation and cooking methods

Culinary nutrition science communication

Culinary science research

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The microcredential begins with approaches designed to support acquisition of specialist knowledge needed to link food and eating with the senses, culinary nutrition science research approaches and food styling. The approaches used to facilitate students’ learning include asynchronous online interactive learning modules. Interaction will be driven by engagement with forums using formats with high visual impact e.g. Padlet. The approaches used in this microcredential have a constructively aligned developmental sequence designed to progressively, and logically, support students’ learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of each activity. It is expected to engender high levels of engagement, efficiency, and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes of the microcredential. Learning and teaching approaches will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in learning activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this microcredential, a single assessment tasks will involve a written assessment task submitted anytime within the teaching period. This task provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to evaluate and communicate complex culinary science principles using clear examples.

This assessment task will allow microcredential coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to assess and clearly articulate the links between the composition and function of a single or composite ingredient and sensory experience


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Blumenthal, H. (2008). The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. London: Bloomsbury.

Segnit, N. (2010). The Flavour Thesaurus. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Spence, C. (2017). Gastrophysics. United Kingdom. Penguin Random House.

The Science of Taste Symposium. (2014). Originally published in the journal Flavour which is no longer published. Collection of articles published by BMC

This, H. (2008). Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor. New York: Colombia University Press

This, H. (2010). Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking. New York: Colombia University Press

Vega, C., Ubbink, J. & van der Linden E. Ed. (2013). The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking. New York: Colombia University Press

Recipe based

The Editors of America’s Test Kitchen & Crosby, G. (2012). The Science of Good Cooking. Massachusetts: Cook’s Illustrated


International Food Information Council Foundation

Explore the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and other work by Cornell Food Lab (note recent controversies)

Food Styling resources TBC

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