Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance


(CHEM112 Organic and Food Chemistry AND NUTR102 Culinary Nutrition Science ) OR NUTR100 Food Science

Unit rationale, description and aim

Central to food industry practice is an ability to apply the fundamentals of food science, chemistry and processing to the broader field of general food safety, hazard risk assessment and analysis of pathogenic microbes. This unit will assist students develop an understanding of the diversity of food toxins, food spoilage agents and food pathogens involved in food-borne disease, along with skills in microbiological analysis and quality assurance relevant to the food industry. The unit will put into context how food production and processing techniques can bring about changes to the biological, chemical, physical and nutrient content of food and the key factors that contribute to food stability and shelf life National and international human health policies relating to food safety regulations and surveillance will be introduced as well as issues regarding emerging food-borne pathogens and current industry and research driven topics. This unit aims to help students to obtain the practical food science knowledge, understanding and skill required to safely develop food products.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Examine the major food/beverage toxins and food-borne pathogens that pose a health risk to consumers and the approaches used by food industry to monitor and eliminate these from food production processGC1, GC7, GC11
LO2Explain how to identify and prevent potential sources of food contaminationGC1, GC7
LO3Prepare a food safety plan and show competence in designing a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program for a food/beverage production processGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC11
LO4Critique Australian and international food/beverage production processes and regulatory environments relating to the food chain (from producers to consumers and waste management)GC1, GC3, GC7
LO5Analyse current scientific evidence and research related to global and local emerging trends in food safety to promote responsible, safe and ethical advances in sustainable food productionGC1, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11


Topics will include: 

  • Organic and inorganic compounds in foods (colours, flavours, preservatives, trace metals, natural and synthetic toxins, other additives, fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides) 
  • Factors that contribute to food quality, stability and shelf life 
  • Microbial factors in food quality 
  • Food/beverage preparation, production, preservation and processing techniques that bring about changes to the biological, chemical, physical and nutritional state of food 
  • Risk analysis and management 
  • Quality auditing and improvement 
  • Food safety management systems including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and food safety risks 
  • National and international quality management standards (e.g. Food Standards Codes), global food safety initiatives and industry schemes 
  • Current issues and research in sustainable food production in relation to food safety 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In keeping with the sequence of learning outcomes in this unit, the learning and teaching strategy adopted comprises three phases that are designed to provide students with a developmental learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support acquisition of the knowledge needed understand the requirements to produce food in a safe and compliant environment. It builds on this by progressing to activities that support the development of a theoretical understanding of concepts and principles needed to inform the skills development. The final stage involves approaches that support students in the application of their understanding in the development of skills needed. Thus, overall, the approaches used in this unit 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 stage. As an overarching strategy, this is known to engender higher levels of engagement, efficiency and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. 

Learning and teaching approaches include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, online learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks. This range of approaches will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of practical skills relevant to the food industry. Specific learning and teaching approaches include: lectures where students will develop the theoretical knowledge related to applied food science and tutorials/practicals where students will apply theoretical learnings.  This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies 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 order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. Thus, the three phases of the strategy are reflected by integration of three appropriate assessment tasks. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose:   

The first assessment task will require that students demonstrate their understanding of industry-relevant principles and practices in food safety regulation, compliance and management.  

The practical assessment provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of how the practical components of the unit have developed both their practical skills relevant to the food industry and collection and interpretation of food quality data.  

Finally, the comprehensive food safety plan provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their understanding of the unit requirements. 

The assessment tasks will allow unit coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes and attainment of graduate attributes. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes


Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of industry-relevant principles and practices in food safety regulation, compliance and management. 


LO1, LO2

Practical laboratory reports 

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding and application of principles of food safety, hazard risk assessment and quality assurance. 


LO2, LO3

Comprehensive food safety plan

Enables students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of unit content


LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Belitz, H., Grosch, W. and Schieberle, P. (2009) Food Chemistry. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag. 

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. (2011). British Retail Consortium, Issue 6 (July).  

Damodaran, S. Parkin, K. and Fennema, O. (2007) Fennema’s Food Chemistry. Taylor & Francis Inc.  

D'Mello J.P.F. (editor) (2003) Food Safety: contaminants and toxins. CABI Publishing, Wallingford  

Doyle, M.P. and Buchanan, R.L. (2013). Food Microbiology: fundamentals and frontiers. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press 

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). 2019. Food Standards Code. Retrieved from   

Hocking, D, Arnold, G, Jensen, I, Newton, K. and Sutherland, P. (2007) Foodborne Microorganisms of Public Health Significance (6th Ed.). Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, NSW.  

Vaclavik, V. and Christian , E.W. (2014) Essentials of Food Science (4th Ed.). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.  

Velisek, J. (2014) The Chemistry of Food. Milton, Australia: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs