FBMFSEN-Sensory Evaluation of Food

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Dr Lisa Methven

Email: L.Methven@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module concerns both the perception of the sensory properties of foods and the sensory evaluation of foods. The module gives an overview of both objective (analytical) sensory testing as well as subjective (affective) sensory testing, concentrating in developing skills within analytical sensory testing.

• To provide an understanding of the application of sensory science to the assessment of eating quality in foods.
• By developing an understanding of the mechanism of perception and the use of laboratory-based sensory methods, enable students to organise and run sensory evaluation trials in industry and research.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
• discuss the physiology and psychology of sensory perception
• critically evaluate a wide range of sensory methods and decide which techniques to use to answer a range of food quality, product development, cost release and market research questions
• design and conduct a range of sensory analysis procedures
• statistically analyse data from a range of sensory methods
• comment on textural analysis of foods and compare instrumental to sensorial methods
• discuss basic concepts within flavour chemistry and be able to relate these to human flavour perception

Additional outcomes:
The module will also:
• enhance the student's organisational and communication skills
• provide experience of working in teams
• improve the student's ability to use statistics in practical experiments

Outline content:
Topics covered include:
Physiology and psychology of perception; the sense organs; analytical and affective sensory methodologies, types of sensory panel, assessor screening, training and monitoring; analysis of sensory data. An introduction to consumer acceptability and hedonic measurements. An outline of flavour chemistry and food texture measurement with focus on their relationship with sensory perception.
The practical aspects of the course covers sensory discrimination testing as well as the use of profiling methods to evaluate the sensory attributes of foods.

Global context:
The sensory properties of foods have a major role in food choice and diet as well as in the commercial success of manufactured food products. This module equips students with the knowledge and skills to carry out relevant sensory evaluation of foods as well as the ability to discuss individual differences in perception.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is taught using a combination of formal lectures to provide the theoretical background to the subject, self guided learning through preparation of materials for peer reviewed presentations, practical classes and data seminars. Within lectures students have the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge through data interpretation exercises, and discussion of appropriate testing procedures and case studies. Lectures closely integrate with practical classes where the application of sensory methods to the evaluation of food products is undertaken. Data seminars are used to evaluate and interpret the results from the practical classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 4
Tutorials 1
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 69
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:
Oral peer reviewed presentation is held in week 4 or 5 (20% module mark).

Following practical classes and data seminar students prepare a 1 page “conference style” poster to concisely report and discuss their evaluation of food products (30% module mark). In addition, students prepare a document reflecting on sensory assessor performance and feedback (10% module mark). Assignment deadline : start of spring term.

75 minute test at end of term (50% module mark) :The module Test in week 9 or 10 covers all material from the module and is a combination of multiple choice questions and short answer questions.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
Not applicable

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall in assessed work

Reassessment arrangements:
Examination in August

Last updated: 29 July 2015

Things to do now