FZMR06-Flavour: From Farm to Fork and Beyond

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Jane Parker

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

Summary module description:

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 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:

By the end of this 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:

Outline content:
•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 contact period.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study 72
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Written assignment: essay to be submitted within 6 weeks after contact workshops. Contributes 80% of module mark.
Oral presentation to be completed during campus workshop period and contributes 20% of module mark – 10% for the group contribution and 10% for the student’s individual contribution.

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

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:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall in all assessed work.

Reassessment arrangements:
In the event of a student failing the module they will be reassessed based on a written examination. Module marks are capped at 50% for passes at 2nd attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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