FOOD SECURITY - 2025/6

Module code: BMS3071

Module Overview

The purpose of the module is to provide a detailed theoretical knowledge of Food, Water and Soil Security in order to improve the provision of safe food components and commodities that have high nutritional and ecological quality. In this respect, the analysis of foods and farming & processing methods that meet UK and EU Food Legislation and associated guidelines is examined. In addition, this module covers aspects related to Farm Production, Food Fraud and Food Safety, particularly in the area of animal welfare, animal species adulteration and food-borne diseases. Students will also appreciate the importance of carrying out appropriate risk assessment for further implementation of HACCP and control methods in the food industry. The module comprises lectures, tutorials and assessments that form an essential part of the Food Science and Nutrition (BD46) degree. It is also highly recommended to students doing Nutrition, Dietetics or the Veterinary Biosciences degree.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

GUTIERREZ Jorge (Biosciences)

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: 90

Lecture Hours: 16

Seminar Hours: 2

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Introduction: Food Security, Water Quality Control and Soil Health

UK and EU Food Legislation to ensure the safety and quality of foods, including microbial quality control, HACCP, factory hygiene and sanitation

Animal Welfare and Food Fraud

Food Safety: Food microorganisms, mycotoxins and parasites

Quality & Safety Analysis of milk and dairy products

Quality & Safety Analysis of meat and meat products

Quality & Safety Analysis of other animal food products (eggs and honey)

Quality & Safety Analysis of plant food, cereals and fruit

Genetically engineered foods: analysis and quality control

Protein & DNA analysis: detection and quantification of animal species

Carbohydrate analysis: simple sugars, starch, cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin and "dietary fibre"

Analysis of lipids: proximate analysis and characterization & quantification of oils and fats for detection of rancidity and adulteration

Vitamin analysis: a critical review of methods for the analysis of water- and fat-soluble vitamins

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 1: ESSAY 30
Coursework COURSEWORK 2: ESSAY 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:


  • A knowledge of factors affecting food, water and soil security

  • Their ability to critically discuss the advantages, disadvantages and usefulness of techniques used to analyse food components

  • Their knowledge of the composition and quality of the major food commodities and products

  • Their ability to critically evaluate commodities and products in terms of ecology, nutrition, safety, and acceptability of foods using the latest quality control procedures.

  • Their knowledge of the UK and EU regulations and guidelines related to the provision of safe, nutritious and high-quality food commodities and processed products from farm to fork

  • An understanding of the farm to fork complex issues faced by farmers, ecologists, veterinarians, food scientists, regulators and the public in the context of food security



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of 2 courseworks:

Coursework 1, 30%, 1350 words on a specific topic related to course content (addresses one learning outcome). Specific guidelines and an additional Q&A document are provided.

Coursework 2, 70%, 2000 words on general topics covered in the whole course content (except for one learning outcome – covered in coursework 1- addresses all learning outcomes). A detailed assessment brief is provided.

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback is provided in class discussions, seminars and tutorials.

Written Feedback is provided on the Surreylearn forum discussions and also individually on the coursework 1 within three weeks after submission, which in terms of format and narrative will inform coursework 2.

Module aims

  • To acquire an understanding of global problems, like food, water and soil security, and the key roles that food safety and quality control play in the context of food sustainability
  • To create an awareness of the current UK and EU legislation concerning the major food commodities and products from farm to fork, including some areas such as farming practices, animal welfare, ecology & environment, food production and food fraud.
  • To examine critically the safety and quality control procedures used to assess commodities and products from farm to fork.
  • To provide an appreciation of the important biological organisms that cause food borne disease and their relative risks, including bacteria, viruses, mycotoxin producing fungi and parasites.
  • To acquire an understanding of the implications of farming, processing and storage on the safety and acceptance of food and food products.
  • To investigate and compare the standard and latest techniques used to assess and monitor different food components such as vitamins, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a broad knowledge of factors affecting global food, water and soil security. KC
002 Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the composition and quality of the major food commodities and products. KCPT
003 Have a good appreciation of hazards/risks associated with food borne micro- and macro- organisms KCP
004 Critically evaluate commodities and products in terms of food safety, sustainability, nutrition and acceptability of foods using the latest quality control procedures. KCPT
005 Demonstrate knowledge of the UK and EU Farm to Fork regulations related to major food commodities and products. KCP
006 Critically discuss the advantages, disadvantages and usefulness of techniques used to analyse food components. KCPT

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 an understanding and knowledge of global problems, like food, water and soil security, and the role of food safety and quality control to ensure food sustainability.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they can describe, explain and understand the type of biological agents that can cause disease via food.

  • Provide a detailed knowledge and critical reviews of the composition, safety and quality control procedures used to assess food commodities and processed products from farm to fork.

  • Acquire an understanding of the implications of processing and storage on the nutritional and ecological quality and acceptance of food and food products from farm to fork.

  • Provide a comparative knowledge of the standard and latest techniques used to assess different food components such as vitamins, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates.

  • Provide an overview of the framework for UK and EU Food legislation as well as drawing attention to specific legislation and guidelines related to farming (animal welfare, organic production) and the major food commodities and products (food processing & fraud)

  • Show awareness of professionals and experts working in various fields related to the Agrifood sector, including Water & Soil Security Officers, Environment Agencies, Veterinarians, Animal Welfare Organizations, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food industry stakeholders.



The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures from academics and professionals in the field (16 hours over 10 weeks)

Seminars to encourage discussions and debates (at least 2 hours)

Tutorials to consolidate the main points to include in the course-works (6 hours)

Guided Learning using extra material -texts and online resources- (20 hours)

Captured Content to cover the basics of the topics for each week (16 hours)

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3071

Other information

Graduate attributes gained from this module

Resourcefulness & resilience

Literature searching and further investigation on WHO and government documents to complete 2 courseworks covering multiple aspects on food security issues along the food chain, from farm to fork.

Search for multiple data and different topics that must be comprehensively linked to generate a narrative that precisely answers the questions of the 2 courseworks

Global & cultural capabilities

Module delivered by a broad range of speakers with diverse backgrounds: international-UK veterinarians, scientists and food inspectors.

We also discuss the social impact of food insecurity, which provides students with an understanding of the complexity of this issue and how it affects the economy and health of society, locally and globally

Sustainability

The module itself fully covers the importance of food sustainability (extensive farm production) and healthy environment (water and soil) to achieve food security. Therefore we address nearly all relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, including No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace and Justice Strong Institutions; and Partnerships to achieve the Goal.

Digital capabilities

Use of online tools and resources for student interaction and review of content.

Debate on vegan vs vegetarian vs omnivore diets.

Digital external resources such as "Play Solve the Outbreak" on the CDC Website, podcasts, and documentaries to support and complement lectures. This extra-material is also important to develop exceptional critical thinking.

Employability

The module is designed to meet employers’ expectations towards self-learning ability, critical analysis, problem-solving skills and resilience. Furthermore, some lectures are given by professionals working at FSA, EFSA, the agri-food sector and food industry, giving information to students about job opportunities.

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
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences 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 2025/6 academic year.