FBMPRE-Food Product Reformulation

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

Module Convenor: Dr Julia Rodriguez-Garcia

Email: j.rodriguezgarcia@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Detailed consideration of the multidisciplinary approach for food product reformulation. On completion of this module you will gain an understanding on the business catalysis for change and innovation, ingredient technological functionality, the evaluation of the product nutritional and quality attributes (taste, texture and microbial and chemical shelf life), the technological processes involved as well as considerations for any sustained health claims. Students will apply this core knowledge and will develop new employability skills through the module by working in multidisciplinary groups to solve a specific case study on product reformulation.


To develop expertise in designing, developing and evaluating reformulated food products thus providing the students with the knowledge and understanding of the key pillars in food product reformulation including nutrition & health, food technology, legislation, consumer perspective and business model perspective. 

Students will develop an understanding of ingredients functionality and food technological possibilities in relation to quality attributes (texture and flavour), effects on shelf life (microbiology and packaging) and the impact on labelling, price and industrial production all of which is essential for reformulating products.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Interpret current legislation and consumer trends to justify the need of product reformulation at a business and fundamental research level.

  • Evaluate the nutritional composition and value of a food product in order to recommend potential reformulation strategies to adapt its profile to current needs.

  • Evaluate the technological functionality of food ingredients in food products and their interactions in the system and within the production process in order to select the most suitable one

  • Identify the key technological steps (unit operations) in the development (reformulation) process including packaging and storage.

  • Analyse and interpret key quality and stability attributes (microbiological, physical, chemical and sensorial properties) in reformulated products using appropriate analytical procedures

  • Identify the policy requirements to comply with UK/EU legislation, including nutrition, labelling and any health claim on a new ingredient or reformulated food product

  • Assess the economic costs of the reformulated products

  • Critically design and evaluate the reformulation process of a specific product with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach

  • Effectively communicate to specialist and stakeholders to influence in the decision making process of product reformulation Self-evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses in the subject knowledge and interpersonal skills to manage your independent learning

Additional outcomes:

  • Application of knowledge

  • Critical thinking

  • Research skills

  • Enhanced team working and presentation skills.

  • Inter-professional skills.

Outline content:

  1. The business environment: setting of the organisation, catalysis for change and innovation

  2. Drivers for food reformulation and factors to consider from a nutritional and food science perspective

  3. Factors determining the selection of appropriate constituents and processing methodology (e.g. selection of mixing strategies, gelling agents, emulsifiers etc.)

  4. Design flow diagrams to describe the stages from ingredients via process to product.

  5. Outline of the key quality and stability attributes (microbiological, physical, chemical and sensorial properties) to assess in ingredients, food systems and final products to optimise the reformulation process.

  6. Food legislation:  ingredients and product specifications, claims, etc.

  7. Understanding costings on product reformulation  

  8. Development of product prototypes at different stages to prove concepts in the experimental kitchen/pilot plant. Measurement of appropriate chemical, physical properties

  9. Consumer perspective on reformulated products: nutritional education, food choice, etc.

  10. Business model: marketing, consumer type, competitors

Global context:

Basic area is international in nature. New products are heavily influenced by culture/nationality.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be some introductory lectures involving food specialists. Then, students, working in groups, will be given a case study on a “food reformulation challenge” and will be required to consider all aspects of the reformulation of a product meeting the concept brief. Workshops to developed specific sections of the case study and tutorials to monitor progress of group work. Students will have access to laboratories/experimental kitchen/pilot plant to prepare samples and develop their ideas. The final written report will have two separate elements in it: (i) an individual contribution focusing on a specific area of the reformulation process and (ii) group contribution to the more general aspects of the report (e.g. Introduction, summary, costings, marketing). Furthermore, each student will be required to contribute to a group presentation relating to the developing stages of the reformulation idea.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Tutorials 6
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Supervised time in studio/workshop 16
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 15
    Advance preparation for classes 5
    Preparation for tutorials 5
    Preparation for presentations 10
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 20
    Group study tasks 20
    Carry-out research project 50
    Dissertation writing 20
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 40
Project output other than dissertation 10
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Relative percentage of coursework:

  • Presentation of the case study on product reformulation (week 11  Spring Term)  case study:

    •  Individual contribution to the project: 40% –

    • Group contribution: 10%

  • Written report of the reformulation case study (week 1 Summer Term)

    • pre-defined individual areas: 20%;

    •  Joint areas (Group): 20%

  • Critical self-reflection on contribution to group work (week 1 Summer Term): 10%.

Formative assessment methods:

Group work formative feedback during tutorials and workshops.

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

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Overall mark of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Printing and binding £20

Last updated: 14 May 2019


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