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NUTR303 Food Science in Practice

Teaching organisation

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to apply knowledge and skills of food science, food processing, food safety and quality control, contemporary food trends, and relevant regulatory and public health issues is an industry imperative for the design and development of new food products. Building on NUTR303 Food Science in Practice, students will gain insight into the phases of product development by establishing a project team to design a new product and its packaging to meet current food trends, relevant public health issues, and food safety and labelling requirements. Post production marketing and consumer acceptance will also be addressed. The importance of food safety and quality control at all stages of production will be a continual focus, providing students with the practical skills to undertake a similar role within the food industry. This capstone unit aims to assist students equip themselves with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to develop new food products from conceptualisation to launch.

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
LO1Appraise and apply the key features of the development cycle for a food product within an appropriate nutritional, food safety, regulatory, and consumer market contextGC1, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO2Demonstrate sound decision-making and technical precision in determining the nutrient content of individual foods and composite recipesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7
LO3Evaluate and apply knowledge of consumers' food choices, food trends and nutrition-related health issues to the design and development of a new food productGC1, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO4Evaluate and apply principles of project management as a member of a team to bring a product development project from the design to completion stageGC2, GC3, GC4, GC11, GC12
LO5Conduct testing in an appropriate market and evaluate consumer responsesGC2, GC7


Topics will include: 

  • Current food trends 
  • Product development process-models and management 
  • Product design and quality assessment 
  • Designing for flavour and texture 
  • Designing for functionality within the constraints of nutrition-related population issues- ingredient development, novel foods, legislative provisions 
  • Designing for safety and shelf life 
  • Determining nutrient content of individual foods and composite recipes (Chemical analysis, Australian Food Composition Database, FoodWorks™) 
  • Food regulation and labelling requirements, including health/nutrient claims, Australia’s Health Star Rating system 
  • Methods for consumer sensory product testing 
  • Principles of consumer marketing 
  • Project teams and management in food development and production 

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 process of food product development from conceptualisation to market. 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, that is, food product development skills. 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 approaches include: lectures where students will develop the theoretical knowledge related to food product design and development 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 requires that students demonstrate theoretical understanding of the processes involved in the development of a food product before commencing on the development process that forms that basis of the third assessment task. The second assessment task requires that students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of analytical methods, and then skills appropriate for analysis of different food components, prior to developing a novel food product plan in the third assessment task. This final task allows students to use their learning to develop industry-ready soft, and hard skills in food product development: design and develop of the product itself along with project management, written communication and presentation skills. 

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

Assessment 1: Online quiz

Enables students to demonstrate of knowledge and understanding of unit content and industry contexts. 



Assessment 2: Practical laboratory reports

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding and application principles of food quality and food claim eligibility. 



Assessment 3: Novel food product development plan

Enables students to apply and communicate knowledge and skills in nutrition, food quality, regulatory and other industry-relevant contexts


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

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

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

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

EuroFIR resources:  

EuroFIR. (2019). Transforming quality food data into tools and products. Retrieved on 31 March 2021 from 

EuroFIR. (2015). EuroFIR Recipe Guideline.on 31 March 2021 from 

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). (2019). Food Nutrient Database. Retrieved on 31 March 2021 from  

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). 2019. Food Standards Code. Retrieved on 31 March 2021 from   

Fuller, G., W. (2011). New Food Product Development From Concept to Marketplace (3th Ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 

Smith, J., and Charter, E. (2010). Functional Food Product Development. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 

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. 

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