FB1EP2-Introduction to Food Processing and Engineering

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Colette Catherine Fagan

Email: c.c.fagan@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module serves as an introduction to food processing and  the physical properties of food systems.  You will learn to apply quantitative principles relevant to food processing operations, which will be complemented by practical experience in the pilot plant.


This module aims to introduce the scientific principles that are the foundation of industrial preservation and transformation of food materials. It will ensure that students can work within a food processing pilot plant while demonstrating appropriate food safety and hygiene practices. Numeracy, and quantitative skills will be developed through integration of material from lectures, practical’s, and workshops. It will also estabilish the role of physical properties in food processing operations and food quality assessment.


Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Identify selected food operations and explain their role in producing safe food

  • Calculate basic parameters used in process design

  • Perform conversion calculations to relevant units (e.g. from SI to other practical units)

  • Design an experiment, record, analyse and present the data to enable conclusions to be drawn

  • Evaluate and discuss the physical properties of food and their impact on food processing systems


Additional outcomes:
The students would be able to appreciate the role of physical properties, in conjunction with chemical, biochemical and microbiological aspects, in determining food safety and quality.

Outline content:

  • Autumn term will contain: food safety and hygiene training, introduction to food processing operations, review mathematical skills, pilot plant practical classes.

  • Spring term will contain: Introduction to physical concepts such as velocity, acceleration, momentum, force, pressure, work, energy and power. Circular motion. Mass and energy balances, energy conversion processes. Size shape, density, porosity, specific heat, latent heat and, enthalpy. rheological properties, fluid statics and hydrodynamics. Interfacial properties and optical, electromagnetic and electrical properties.

  • Summer term will contain: Review sessions.

Global context:
The global context of the content covered in this module is food manufacturing including food processing, food formulation and food safety and quality – which are critical to ensuring food security.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will be taught by a combination of lectures, practical sessions and tutorials (including problem sheets).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 26 19 4
Practicals classes and workshops 6 4
Guided independent study: 68 43 30
Total hours by term 100 66 34
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Report 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 report to be submitted in the Autumn term and 1 report to be submitted in the Summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

Problem sheets to evaluate understanding of basic mathematical skills and interim project reports in Autumn and Spring term

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:

    Overall mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment arrangements are in accordance with University policy. Reassessment of the written examination is held during the University administered re-examination period in August. Failed coursework may be re-assessed by an alternative assignment before or during the August re-examination period.

    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: 8 April 2019


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