Surrey University Stag


Module code: BMS1057

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the practical features relating to food science and nutrition. It provides students with an understanding of the features of macronutrients, how they can be analysed and how their physical and chemical properties can influence the properties of foods. It also introduces students to the major groups of microorganisms in the environment & foods and their relation to health. It examines the microflora of foods and how these can be evaluated using laboratory techniques. A number of practical classes are used to illustrate the features being studied in the module.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BROWN Jonathan (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 6

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Tutorial Hours: 10

Laboratory Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 12

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content


Introduction and overview of the module, and overview of the practical sessions and assessments

Proteins – overview of the variety of proteins present in foods, their structure and a focus on the different methods used in their analysis

Fats and oils – overview of fats and oils present in foods, their structure and a focus on their properties and functionality in foods

Food dispersions: formation and stability of foams and emulsions, Gelling mechanisms: factors affecting gelation of protein and polysaccharides, Food dispersions: formation and stability of foams and emulsions.

Carbohydrates – overview of the different classes of carbohydrates and their properties

Alcohol – overview of the processes used and the different products made in the fermentation process.

Microbiology of Foods – an overview – what kinds of microbes are found in foods, influence of environment, and influence of processing and the role of preservatives.




Protein analysis practical (On-line Lab practical) – coverage of Kjeldahl in class and then a spectrophotometric method for the students to do. Some compare and contrasting


Fat and oil properties (On-line Lab practical) – melting point, and melting behaviour (chocolate), refractive index, appreciation of rancidity by copper/oxygen – spectrophotometric method


Emulsions (Lab practical) – preparation of different emulsions with different formulations and then microscopy and image analysis appreciate the changes.


Carbohydrate properties (On-line Lab practical): solubility, crystallinity (using microscopy), perhaps something on reducing sugars and the detection of them (perhaps something on sweetness


Food Microbiology 1: (Lab practical) Isolating microbes from different foods – preparing dilutions and plating out – importance of aseptic technique: Food tested: Meat (cooked and uncooked), lettuce (washed and unwashed)


Food Microbiology 2: (Lab practical) results from previous session, numbers of colonies, identifying types of bacteria present, Gram stain, oxidase and catalase tests; Second part of practical, isolating microbes from different foods from probiotic drinks (e.g. Yakult drink) (bacteria), kefir (bacteria + yeast), Roquefort (bacteria + fungi).


Food Microbiology 3: (Lab practical) Observe results from previous session, numbers of colonies, identifying types of bacteria present, Gram stain, oxidase and catalase tests; Discussion of all the results

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 their knowledge by correctly answering multiple choice style questions designed to test their understanding . Using this approach, we are able to assess knowledge across a broad range of topics within a short period of time.

In addition, the practical component is designed to introduce the students to basic techniques in as well as develop their ability to keep accurate laboratory records and analyse experimental data.


Laboratory manual – consisting of laboratory notebook record keeping. This exercise gives the students an opportunity to record observations of experiments and analyse data generated from such experiments.


, the summative assessment for this module consists of: Final MCQ and short answer exam, covering content covered throughout the module and  testing ability interpret results/calculate findings based on skills developed through the practicals and Formative coursework. (100%) .

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the fundamental practical techniques used in food science and nutrition
  • To give students a basic understanding of the methods used in determining food composition
  • To provide students with a practical understanding of the nature of macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins) and how their chemical and physical properties relate to their behaviour.
  • To provide students with an understanding of the alcohol fermentation process
  • To introduce students to the microflora of foods.
  • Establish a theoretical and practical understanding of the nature and role of disperse systems in foods.
  • Introduce students to the major groups of microorganisms and a basic understanding of how bacterial cells and viruses function
  • To understand the importance of microbes in the environment, what constitutes our natural microbiota and how it impacts on our health
  • To introduce the ways in which microbes can be managed and manipulated in relation to nutrition and/or food science.
  • Introduce students to basic microbiological techniques used when working with microorganisms in the laboratory

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss the principles of the practical techniques used in food science and nutrition KPT
002 Describe the nature of the major dietary components of food in terms of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates and the methods employed for their analysis KCP
003 Describe how the chemical and physical properties of the macronutrients, including their deterioration, impact on the behaviour of foods KC
004 Define food dispersions, sols, gels, foams and emulsions, and explain the factors influencing their formation and stability KCP
005 Describe the process of fermentation and the features important in the production of a variety of alcoholic beverages KP
006 Perform experimental techniques (as instructed) by making accurate observations; recording, analysing and interpreting data CPT
007 Identify and describe the features of microorganisms in foods CP
008 Appreciate the importance of food microbiology in food production and food-borne disease KC
009 Understand the application of, and perform basic food microbiology techniques, and analyse and report associated data in a scientific manner CPT
010 Understand the importance of microbial biodiversity and ecology in the context of the human Microbiome and the relationship with human health KT

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: provide students with a solid basic knowledge . Furthermore, it provides the students will critical practical skills essential for those working in food science and nutrition. This module continues to develop their skills in scientific writing and is designed to provide students with a framework from which to build their knowledge and inform further learning in their specific programme (Food Science & Nutrition, Nutrition or Nutrition & Dietetics.)

The learning and teaching methods include: lectures formative assessment exercises practical classes

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: BMS1057

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory 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 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 2021/2 academic year.