Module code: BMS1057

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to build on the conceptual understanding in Semester 1, from BMS1027 Food Science and Nutrition, and to introduce students to the practical features relating to food science (including Microbiology) and nutrition. It provides students with an understanding of the key features of macronutrients, how they can be analyzed and how their physical and chemical properties can influence the properties of foods which relate to how they operate in industry and in the domestic setting. It also introduces students to the major  groups of microorganisms in the environment & in foods and their relationship to health. It examines the micro-flora of foods and how these can be evaluated using standard laboratory techniques relevant to the food industry. A number of practical classes are used to illustrate the features being studied in the module. It is a module that further prepares students for BMS 2042 Food Science and also, where applicable, BMS2041 Food Microbiology. It is relevant to all Nutritional Sciences programmes.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

BROWN Jonathan (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 96

Lecture Hours: 15

Tutorial Hours: 6

Laboratory Hours: 15

Guided Learning: 12

Captured Content: 6

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 extent and variety of proteins present in foods, their structure and a focus on the different methods that can be used in their analysis. 

Fats and oils – overview of the extent and variety of fats and oils present in foods, their structure and a focus on their properties, analysis 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 - including functionality.

Alcohol – overview of the processes used and the different products made in the fermentation process relevant to the beverage industry. 

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



Protein analysis practical (Lab practical) – coverage of Kjeldahl in class and also spectrophotometric methods. Some comparing and contrasting of these methods. 

Fat and oil properties (Lab practical) – melting points, and melting behaviour of fats (e.g. chocolate), appreciation of the rancidity of fats and the susceptibly of different commercially available fats/oils, spectrophotometric methods used to determine oxidation. 

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

Carbohydrate properties (Lab practical): solubility, crystallinity (using microscopy), measurement of reducing sugars, sweetness 

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

Food Microbiology 2: (Lab practical) Evaluating the results from the previous session, counting 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 and evaluate results from previous session, numbers of colonies, identifying different types of bacteria/fungi 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 short answer and multiple choice style questions designed to test their understanding of the module content. Students are also set calculation questions using data relevant to the practicals that they have undertaken to test students’ analytical skills. Using this approach, the module team are able to assess knowledge and skills across a broad range of topics. 

The practical component of the module is designed to introduce the students to basic techniques in Food Science, Nutrition and Microbiology as well as to train and develop their ability to keep accurate laboratory records and analyze experimental data. 


The summative assessment for this module consists of: an exam with short answer questions as well as a selection of multiple choice questions, these cover the content delivered throughout the module and tests students ability to interpret results/calculate findings based on the skills developed through the practicals and formative coursework. (100 %)

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 

Exam, 100 %, 2 hours (addresses learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) 


Laboratory manual – consisting of laboratory notebook record keeping. This exercise gives the students an opportunity to record observations of experiments and analyze data generated from such experiments. Demonstrators and staff go round all students and discuss their lab manual with students to ensure that they are following good laboratory practice and are recording the information accurately and succinctly and that they understand the process of calculating the data.

Formative Feedback 

Formative feedback is provided in the lectures and practicals and provides students with the opportunity to appreciate in real time where they may not fully understand some aspects in those settings. There are also some formative short answer questions and MCQs available on SurreyLearn covering each lecture/practical combination focusing on each of the main topics. Students receive immediate feedback (the correct answers) on their performance with some feedback on those answers. 


Module aims

  • Help students develop their appreciation of the fundamental practical techniques used in food science and nutrition and to give students a basic understanding of the methods used in determining food composition
  • 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 in foods, in particular, in relation to the nature and role of disperse systems in foods
  • Provide an understanding of the process of fermentation to produce alcohol
  • Help students appreciate the major groups of microorganisms and an understanding of how bacterial cells and viruses function
  • Develop their understanding of the importance of microbes in foods, but also in the environment and what constitutes our natural microbiota and how it impacts on health
  • Provide students with the ways in which microbes can be managed and manipulated in relation to nutrition and/or food science and to introduce students to basic microbiological techniques used when working with microorganisms in the laboratory

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 To have a sound knowledge of the nature of the major dietary components of food in terms of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates and the methods employed for their analysis KCP E, S, G
002 To be able to understand how the chemical and physical properties of the macronutrients, including their deterioration, impact on the behaviour of foods relevant in industrial and domestic settings, including food dispersions, sols, gels, foams and emulsions KCPT E, S, G
003 To have a thorough appreciation of the process of fermentation and the features important in the production of a variety of alcoholic beverages KC E, G
004 To have a sound knowledge of the variety of microorganisms that exist in general but with a particular emphasis on those in foods, and be able to identify and describe the features of microbes in foods. KCT E, S
005 To have an appreciation of the importance of food microbiology in food production and food-borne disease and to understand the importance of microbial biodiversity and ecology in the context of the human microbiome and its relationship with human health KC E, S
006 To have learned the principles and basis of a number of experimental techniques (related to both food science and microbiology) by making accurate observations; recording, analysing and interpreting data and comparing with the expected results/legislation CPT E, D, R, G

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 mixture of lectures (theoretical aspects) and practicals (applied aspects) in order to further develop their knowledge and understanding in the field. The module is separated equally between aspects that build on the previous Semester 1 module (BMS1027 Food Science and Nutrition) and this module includes an introduction into Food Microbiology. 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 programmes (Food Science & Nutrition, Nutrition or Nutrition & Dietetics.) 

The learning and teaching methods include: lectures, these include opportunities for formative assessment exercises. The module also includes  practical classes in which there are 7 separate practicals during which there is support from demonstrators and teaching staff. There are revision sessions towards the end of the module where students consolidate their learning. Opportunities for electronic voting are part of this module. 

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

Resourcefulness and resilience 

The module includes 7 practicals and well as a large number of supporting lecture material. Students are provided recorded information on the techniques and a handbook in advance. Students must come prepared for when they get to the labs to perform the practical in a finite amount of time (2-3 hours). Some experiments "designed to fail first time" to help develop resilience.  

Global and Cultural capabilities 

The module covers the main macronutrients including alcohol, their role in foods (functionality) and how they are analyzed. As food is a global commodity and our students come from various international backgrounds, opportunities are used to discuss various global and cultural aspects related to this. E.g. the history of alcohol production around the globe; the use of different fats and oils in different countries/continents - Animal vs. plant fats - cultural differences in the use of different fats. Proteins from different global sources and their functionality. 


Several global development goals (SDGs) are relevant to this module. These are SDG goals: 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15 in particular. For example: In the protein lectures/practicals - Egg alternatives – what other protein sources are suitable and in the Fats and oils lectures/practicals - suitable alternatives to animal fats, hydrogenated fats and palm oil. 

Digital capabilities 

The module uses a range of programmes such as Zoom and Panopto for online interaction and the development of understanding.  All the content is recorded. Poll everywhere and similar programmes are used in some lectures. 

A high content of digital external resources to support lectures e.g. Youtube media pieces on some topics are also utilized. The module includes practicals where techniques are shown via online videos in advance of the practical to prepare students appropriately. Online exam used requiring digital skills. 


The module includes many practicals (n=7) which provide students an excellent opportunity to develop a range of hands on skills related to food analysis and also food microbiology. Students work in pairs and there are a number of tasks in each practical that require team work in order to get the work done in an efficient and accurate manner. Techniques used are similar to those in the food industry providing enhanced amployability skills. There is also the need to appreciate and understand appropriate Health and Safety when working in the laboratory alongside apparatus such as heating blocks, blenders, spectrophotometers, Bunsen burners etc. All pieces of equipment that may potentially be used in their future work. 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.