FZCR56-Flavour: From Farm to Fork & Beyond - CPD

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Jane Parker

Email: j.k.parker@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Delivered using a two stage blended model this module will provide a practical approach to understanding flavour science in the context of the food supply chain through five to six weeks of distance learning delivering lectures, background information and directed reading in preparation for a campus-based workshop of 4 consecutive, intensive days of seminars, tutorials and practical sessions delivered by academic members of teaching and research  staff from the department of Food & Nutritional Sciences and the wider University of Reading and invited experts in the field from across academia and industry. 


The module aims to provide an understanding of the importance of organoleptic properties in driving consumer choice and be able to discuss strategies for manipulating, controlling and optimising flavour from farm to fork.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, learners should be able to discuss:

  • the role of flavour in the consumer perception of quality

  • the influence of pre- and post-harvest conditions in flavour generation

  • the flavour formation pathways involved during food processing and storage

  • the nature of flavouring ingredients, their preparation and issues regarding compliance with EU regulations

  • analytical methods for flavour analysis

Additional outcomes:

The following transferable skills will be developed in this module:

  • Critical evaluation of data from a variety of sources

  • Effective communication of scientific information in oral and written format with scientific rigour

  • Debating skills

Outline content:

This module is designed to provide an understanding of importance of organoleptic properties in driving consumer choice and be able to discuss strategies for manipulating, controlling and optimising flavour from farm to fork. The module is structured to address the differing perspectives of consumers, breeders and growers, food-processors, flavourists and flavour detectives thus developing an understanding across the food supply chain with each topic being set in the context of a food product such as beverages, snacks, meat and coffee.

  • The Consumers’ Perspective: the importance of flavour (aroma and taste), and the factors which influence perception (physical factors such as texture, flavour release and oral processing as well as environment, emotion and exposure etc.).Review of sensory methodology.

  • The Breeders’ and Growers’ Perspective: The effects of pre- and post-harvest conditions (cultivar, nutrients, storage conditions etc.) on the flavour of plant-derived products and effect of breed and diet on the quality of meat.

  • The Food-Processing Perspective: flavour generation ( both chemical and biochemical) during food-processing, chemistry of the Maillard reaction, lipid degradation, management of flavour changes during storage and through the chill chain, and the relationship between flavour formation and the generation of  potential toxicants and harmful materials such as acrylamide, furans PAHs, etc.

  • The Flavourists’ Perspective: introduction to flavour creation, the different components of a complex flavour system, the problems associated with application of flavourings into different (healthier) matrices, and formulation of a basic beverage flavouring. The use of flavours/flavourings in light of the recent regulations in relation to student’s own product type, advances in technology which are available to produce natural, clean-label flavour ingredients and discussion of sustainable routes to flavour ingredients.

  • The Flavour Detectives’ Perspective: Comparison of different methods for flavour analysis (aroma and taste) both in complex foods and in “off-the-shelf” flavourings, and approaches to identifying taints and off-notes.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Problem based learning supported by lectures (delivered via distance learning and face-to-face) together with presentations by invited speakers from different areas of the food industry and experts in the area of flavour science. Students will be expected to do background reading around each of the topics covered by the module prior to the on campus workshop.

Contact hours

The module content will be delivered by distance learning and through direct staff contact time. The module will consist of preliminary learning materials delivered over a 5 – 6 week period as distance learning via a virtual learning environment (VLE). This will include a series of short video/audio lectures and directed reading, which will represent 36 hours of student input. This will prepare students for a 4-day intensive on campus workshop that will include 28 hours of academic-led learning and practical classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 28
Guided independent study 36
Total hours by term 64.00
Total hours for module 64.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are no summative assessments for this module

Formative assessment methods:

Self-assessment multiple choice question tests used during distance learning delivery. Questions related to video lectures and directed reading.

Students will be expected to bring a product of their choosing for analysis during the workshop.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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