Module code: BMS3070

Module Overview

This module covers a variety of important aspects related to Food Technology and Safety. The first part of the module covers aspects related to Food Safety in particular in relation to chemically based toxic products present in some foods. The second part of the module is focussed on the processes used in food production and preservation (Food Technology). In particular, a variety of heat processes are covered in detail highlighting their role in the destruction of spoilage microorganisms. The final part of the module covers the role of refrigeration and freezing in food preservation as well as food packaging, including the safety considerations. This module builds on previous modules concerned with food science in terms of enhancing the understanding of potential toxic products present in foods and their risk assessment. Furthermore, a greater emphasis is placed at this level (6) on understanding the principles and application of different food processes. Learning is embedded by the use of videos of food processing as well as a trip to a Food Technology Hall in Semester 2.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

GIACINTUCCI Veronica (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 121

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 5

Practical/Performance Hours: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction and overview of the module
Food Preparation and Toxic Products
D-amino acids/lysinoalanine/toxic amino acids, lectins
Phytoestrogens, goitrogens and cyanogenic glycosides
Food additives  -  lipid oxidation and antioxidants
Contaminants - Pesticide residues
Principles of separation techniques for food production and  preservation
Filtration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis
Role of heat processing in food production and preservation
Introduction, heating methods, dielectric and microwave heating, principles of heat transfer – conduction, convection and radiation
Pasteurisation, sterilisation and canning
High pressure, pulsed electric field  and their use in processing
Psychrometry and dehydration
Spray drying and freeze-drying
Calculations tutorial
Food extrusion
Role of refrigeration in food preservation
Freezing/frozen storage
Process of freezing/chilled storage/impact on microorganisms
Advances in food packaging
Packaging materials, biodegradable and smart packaging
Safety of food packaging materials
Risk Assessment
Revision Tutorials



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they can describe, explain and understand the type of food toxicants that can cause disease. The assessment strategy is also designed to provide students with the opportunity to show that they understand the principles, role and applications of different food processes used to produce safe and palatable food. Furthermore, the calculation coursework allows students to show that they have the skills to characterise the adequacy of a variety of processes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework essay (2000 words) due 5th week of Semester 2

  • Examination (2 hours) Students must answer 2 out of 5 questions

Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback will be given on the coursework essay through SurreyLearn. This will be also given verbally (in a generic way to the class) within one week of the hand in date for each piece of coursework. More detailed and individualised feedback will be provided on each student’s coursework which will be handed back within the marking timeframe.

The module also includes formative assessment on Food Technology calculations (a set of 5 multipart questions on heat processing, centrifugation and drying).

Feedback (generic) on the exam will be provided on the Exam Feedback sheets and posted on SurreyLearn.

Module aims

  • Provide a broad appreciation of the sources of potentially toxic substances in food and the relative risks associated with different classes
  • Develop an appreciation of the effects of food preparation/cooking on the formation of, or contamination with, potentially toxic products
  • Give an awareness of the major groups of endogenous toxicants in foods and their toxicity
  • Give an introduction to the food safety issues concerning additives, contaminants and the migration of chemicals from packaging materials into food
  • Provide an understanding of selected physical phenomena (e.g. heat transfer, fluid flow, psychometrics, freezing, etc.) and associated unit processes (canning, drying, freezing, concentration, extrusion, emulsification, etc) employed by the food industry
  • Provide an understanding of the factors that determine the safety and acceptability of the foods so processed
  • Provide the calculation skills required to characterise and/or estimate the adequacy of selected processes (e.g. canning, pasteurisation, drying, centrifugation, etc.)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a good understanding of the relative risks from different classes of toxicants in food KCP
002 Describe in general terms the operation of relevant pieces of equipment KP
003 Understand the principles and applications of filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifugation including the quotation of relevant formulae and equations and completion of associated calculations KP
004 Apply a basic understanding of heat transfer to frozen and below ambient storage KCP
005 Provide an appreciation of the variety of packaging materials available and to relate barrier properties to product requirements KP
006 Be able to read and critically appreciate reports and toxicological monographs published by e.g. the JECFA, JMPR, SCF relating to food additives, contaminants and pesticide residues in food CT
007 Apply a basic knowledge of heat transfer and psychrometry to pasteurisation, canning, dehydration, concentration and extrusion processes and complete appropriate calculations KCPT
008 Use this knowledge to explain those factors that determine the microbiological safety of heat processes KCP
009 Use this knowledge to explain how palatability and nutrient retention may be optimised without compromising safety KCP
010 Provide an appreciation of the variety of packaging materials available and to relate barrier properties to product requirements KP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Build on students existing knowledge in the field of food science and to develop their appreciation and thorough understanding of the fundamental food safety issues as well as the technologies that facilitate in the production of safe, palatable and nutritious foods. This aligns with the programme strategy to help students acquire knowledge and develop a thorough understanding of food processing in food safety and acceptability.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures 2-3 hours of lectures per week x 11 weeks
• Calculation tutorial to facilitate learning of the equations and charts used
• Revision tutorials with example test questions with discussion
• SurreyLearn video clips on some aspects of the module
• Trip to a Food technology Hall to embed learning on some food processes

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3070

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Microbiology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.