Module code: BMS2053

Module Overview

This module covers a selection of analytical techniques used to ensure food is safe, conforms to quality specifications and that its nutritional content is accurately described. Laboratory practicals allow students to apply some of the theoretical knowledge gained in lectures and tutorials to real food products. Students will develop their written communication skills within a scientific discipline, enabling them to explain theoretical knowledge and perform data analysis. 

The lectures, practicals and tutorials form essential components of the degree in Food Science and Nutrition (BD46). Students studying Nutrition (B400) and Microbiology (C500) also benefit.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

OLOYEDE Bolanle (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 74

Lecture Hours: 12

Seminar Hours: 11

Laboratory Hours: 18

Guided Learning: 4

Captured Content: 31

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes: 

Introduction and overview of the module. Presentation of some information on assessment and feedback expectations. 

Chromatography, gel filtration, capillary electrophoresis, HPLC, GC-MS and applications in food analysis 

Analytical quality assurance and sample preparation 

UV-visible spectrophotometry principles and applications 

IR, NIR, FTIR spectroscopy principles and applications 

NMR and Raman spectroscopy; spectrofluorimetry principles and applications 

Protein and DNA quantification and analysis (colorimetric assays, PAGE, PCR  and ELISA) 

Refractive Index 

Seminars on lecture content and guidance/feedback on assessments 



Proximate analysis of meat products 

Sugars/starch – determination of sugars in different jams, physical and chemical properties of starches 

Physical and chemical properties of fats and oils 

Analysis of caffeine by HPLC - statistical evaluation and precision  

Application of ELISA to detect and quantify fish proteins in fish products 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework BUSINESS CASE 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge you have gained on the principles, advantages, disadvantages and application of analytical techniques, obtained from lectures, practicals and guided learning. 

Also, the ability to analyse and critically discuss the results obtained in practicals in relation to the published literature and food legislation (EU). You will be expected to present and communicate your work in a format suitable for publication, taking into account different audiences. 

Finally, the second assessment requires you to apply your knowledge and understanding to real-world situations where information may be incomplete, demonstrating your problem-solving skills. 

Your practical skills in the laboratory will be assessed throughout by demonstrators and recorded in a practical skills record. 


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 

Coursework 1 (LOs 1-6) – a written practical report covering the analysis of meat products, comprising an introduction, short methods section, calculations, results and discussion (answering specific questions), written individually. The submission deadline is ~2 weeks after the practical takes places. If coursework 1 needs to be re-assessed, the write-up will be based on new data provided by the module leader. There will be guidance on length, but it will not be restricted. This practical is a case study similar to what might be encountered in an industrial QC lab, enhancing your employability and digital capability skills. 

Coursework 2 (LOs 1,2,4-6) – a business case for a quality control (QC) lab for a food company. This must include the product being tested, two methods from the lecture content for this module, costings for 1 year of operation (within budget) and a rationale for the methods/equipment chosen. You may want to consider sustainability as well as budgetary constraints. For this, you are expected to communicate in a professional way (aimed at managing director, head of finance etc) without being too technical and limited to 8 pages. If coursework 2 needs to be re-assessed, the write-up will be based on different products and a different budget. An incomplete list of equipment prices will be provided by the module leader, students will be expected to show their resourcefulness in finding prices for equipment not listed and all the relevant legislation. 

Assessment briefs and rubrics are provided for both assessments so students can self-assess their work before submission. 


Formative assessment: 

The main part of formative assessment will be a practical skills record, which will ensure all students are competent with a range of techniques that are commonly encountered in food science laboratories. 

Online tests for the practicals that are not assessed summatively will also be available. 

The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to assess their own level of understanding of the concepts provided in the lectures and the students’ independent reading. There will also be use of discussion boards between seminars. 



Feedback is provided individually (comments, rubric and in turnitin) on the coursework submissions within three semester weeks after submission. General feedback is provided in seminars, recorded and uploaded to SurreyLearn. 

Formative feedback is provided during practicals, seminars/tutorials and via discussion boards on SurreyLearn. 


Module aims

  • Examine in detail the principles of the standard biochemical, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques used in food analysis
  • Examine critically the advantages and disadvantages of techniques applied to the analysis of food components and the results obtained, including sustainability aspects
  • Assess the results obtained in terms of the EU regulations related to selected food products
  • Provide an opportunity to apply basic statistical techniques to evaluate results
  • Consolidate learning in a case study applicable to industry while developing employability skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the principles of the standard and latest techniques used in food analysis globally KC EG
002 Develop a detailed knowledge of the techniques used in food analysis KCPT EG
003 Gain and apply practical experience of the techniques used in food analysis KCPT EG
004 Discuss the advantages, disadvantages and applications of the techniques used in the analysis of food components, including sustainability aspects KC ES
005 Relate the results obtained or expected to the regulations governing the processing of selected products KC EDRG
006 Consolidate and apply learning to a ¿real-world¿ situation applicable to the food industry KCPT ER

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module is designed to equip the student with a detailed knowledge (theoretical and practical) of the principles of the standard and advanced biochemical, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques used for food analysis globally, through lectures, captured content, seminars/tutorials, practicals and guided learning. 

Lectures provide the theoretical understanding of the principles, advantages, disadvantages/limitations and application of the selected analytical techniques. These are then discussed in more detail in seminars where students are encouraged to ask questions to check their understanding of the lecture material and independent reading/watching. 

Practicals provide the opportunity to experience some of the techniques discussed and apply them to real foods. One practical has a summative assessment attached which requires students to critically discuss the methods and results in relation to the regulations (directed and independent reading) associated with the selected food. 

The final assessment allows students to consolidate their theoretical and practical knowledge and apply it to a “real-world” situation applicable to the food industry. The practical, data analysis and communication skills you gain from this module will be beneficial for a lab-based final year project. 

The learning and teaching methods include:  

Lectures (~12h) delivered in person and recorded. 

Seminars for discussing lecture content and independent reading/watching, and provide guidance/feedback on assessments (~11h). 

Guided learning delivered as a comprehensive reading list (including EU legislation), relevant TV episodes (~4h) and recordings of lectures and seminars (~23h) for consolidation purposes. 

Practicals (~18h) and associated captured content on techniques to give students familiarity with the equipment and methods before they attend the practicals (~8h). 


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: BMS2053

Other information

The School of Biosciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas: 

Employability: Throughout this module you will develop critical review and communication skills and apply them to two different assessments. As part of assessment 1, you are expected to review your results in terms of what may have gone wrong during the practical, which requires honesty and integrity and an understanding that research rarely goes to plan. For assessment 2 you will use the knowledge and understanding of key concepts related to food analysis gained from lecture and apply them to a “real-world” problem that you could encounter in industry. You will demonstrate a basic understanding of budgeting and industrial priorities. It also equips you with the practical skills required to work in a QC laboratory during your placement year or as a graduate. 

Global and cultural capabilities: You will be working in groups which will reflect the diversity of the student body, allowing you to learn from each other and about different food cultures. As part of the assessments you will be expected to refers to EU legislation (and be aware of other global regulatory bodies), a major market for global food companies. The methods used in practicals are based on globally accepted protocols that could be encountered in industry. 

Digital Capabilities: You will develop your skills in using digital resources (such as using SurreyLearn and literature searching) during this module. While a selection of relevant literature (e.g. books and journal articles) will be provided on the reading list, you will need to search the internet effectively to find relevant legislation and equipment prices for assessment 2. In the process of writing the reports, you will get familiar with using Word and Excel (or equivalents). 

Resourcefulness and resilience: For assessment 2, you will need to maintain motivation and concentration while searching for and identifying relevant legislation and other resources. Then use your resourcefulness and problem-solving skills to identify the best use of the budget available. Receiving feedback can be difficult for some, so students will be offered support in interpreting feedback and turning it into action. 

Sustainability: You will develop an awareness of the quantity of chemicals and consumables required to analyse food, how the waste produced can be significant, and the ways companies are looking to reduce this. The requirements for each method are mentioned in lectures and the lab handbook and are often mentioned as part of the advantages and disadvantages of competing methods. 

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
Microbiology 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

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 2023/4 academic year.