module specification

NF7003 - Advanced Food Processing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Advanced Food Processing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Review (2700 words)
Coursework 40%   Poster (850w) & Oral Presentation (10mins)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Students will study the basic principles of food processing, theoretical aspects of processes, new technologies in food processing, process control systems, functional foods, selection of ingredients and reduction of waste with particular reference to organic foods.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to give students knowledge of new developments in food processing and an understanding of the principles, benefits and limitations thereof. It will also give them an understanding of roles of functional components and ingredient specification from standard and organic sources.


Developments in food processing technology - why food is processed, from farm to factory, basic principles

Theoretical aspects of food processing 1 - size reduction; theories of solids and liquids mixing; centrifugation; membrane processing; fermentations, enzyme technology; irradiation, microwave and infrared

Theoretical aspects of high temperature processes 2 - evaporation; extrusion; dehydration; baking, roasting and frying

Theoretical aspects of low temperature processing 3 - chilling; freezing; freeze-drying and freeze concentration

Advanced technology of food processing - high-pressure, ohmic heating, pulsed light and pulsed electric field, magnetic field, irradiation processing, radio frequency heating, microwave heating, combined technologies, supercritical fluid processing

Comparisons of new technologies with conventional processes - effectiveness, safety, capital and processing costs and environmental concerns of conventional versus emerging technologies

Unit operations and automation - in-depth examination of unit operations and computerised control systems

Fermented foods, e.g. alcoholic beverages, oriental fermentations, starter culture technology (e.g. dairy products)

Functional foods and functional ingredients - review of current products, actual and potential developments

Selection of ingredients and processing - matching specifications to processing and products

Preservation and waste of organic fruit & vegetables - maintaining the quality of organic fruit & vegetables, reducing waste in production, processing and marketing.

Learning and teaching

The subject will be developed through extended tutorials and theoretical exercises in which the syllabus topics will be reviewed, discussed and analysed. They will be given analytical insights into many of the processes currently used by the food industry and emerging technologies. There will also be some practical food processing sessions including canning, drying, and vacuum packing. Topics will be examined on the basis of their efficiency, effectiveness and application. When possible, industry experts will lead some of these sessions. Visits will be arranged to research laboratories, equipment manufacturers and food manufacturers to see new technology under development and in use, whenever possible. Students will critically review theoretical processing parameters, such as fluid flow, heating and cooling, including the underpinning principles. They will spend a significant amount of time in self-directed study, reading and directed study (152 h).

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, the student should be able to:

  1. Give a detailed, critical analysis of the theory and principles of at least three new processing technologies.
  2. Compare the effectiveness of conventional and new technologies on the basis of capital and production costs, efficiency, safety and environmental issues.
  3. Give an in-depth exposition of current developments in functional foods.
  4. Discuss the selection of high quality ingredients for processing from conventional and organic sources.

Assessment strategy

Students will write a high quality, properly referenced, scientific review describing the principles, theory, use, benefits and limitations of new processing technologies for potential submission to a suitable journal.
They will also a scientific poster describing recent developments in functional foods and functional ingredients which will be presented and critically discussed at the end of the module.
Coursework 1 [LO1, LO2, LO4] Coursework 2 [ LO3]


Fellows, P. J. Food Processing Technology (2009). 3rd edition. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing. (CORE)

Richardson, P. (editor) (2001) Thermal Technologies in Food Processing. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing

Barbosa-Canovas, G. V and Gould, G. W. (editors) (2000) Innovations in Food Processing (2000). Lancaster Pa: Technomic Publishing Co.

Barbosa-Canovas, G. V. and Zhang, Q. H. (1999) Pulsed Electric Fields in Food Processing. Lancaster Pa: Technomic Publishing Co.

Irudavarai, J. (2001) Food Processing Operations Modelling. Marcel Dekker

King, R. and Ternelli Supercritical Fluids for Food Processing (2009). Academic Press

Linden, G. and Lorient, D. (1999) New ingredients in Food Processing (Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing

Gibson, G. R. and WIlliams, C. (2000) Functional Foods: Concept to Product (2000). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing

Handbook of Organic Food Processing and Production (2000). Simon Wright, Diane McCrea (editors). Iowa: Iowa State University Press

Sandeep, K. P. (2011) Thermal processing of foods: control and automation (Institute of Food Technologists Series). Hoboken NJ: Wiley-Blackwell