module specification

NF7009 - Advanced Food Analysis (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23, but may be subject to modification
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Advanced Food Analysis
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
50 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
150 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Investigation Report
Coursework 30%   Critical Review (1300 words)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module aims to give students an overview of analytical methods used for foods and experience in using some of the more advanced methodologies together with an understanding of their scope and limitations. The module is assessed through coursework comprising a critical review on standard methods and a report of an analytical investigation.


Review of the uses of food analytical techniques LO1, LO2, LO3
Metabolites and potential changes in GMOs
Contaminants - pesticide residues, heavy metals, environmental contaminants
Sample selection and preparation, reporting, reliability

Chemical analysis LO1, LO2, LO3
Standard methods for food proximates - a comparative review of methods in general use, their scope and limitations
Chromatographic methods - GC, GC-MS, HPLC, ion exchange
Immunological methods - ELISA, Blotting techniques
Spectroscopic methods - atomic absorption spectrophotometry, UV, IR and Visible light spectrophotometry, fluorimetry, NMR,
Developments in rapid testing & rapid diagnostic methods - enzyme kits, gluten, allergens
Molecular methods - PCR and DNA extraction

Physical methods LO1, LO2, LO3
Colour measurement
Radioactivity, counting, radioimmunology
Food rheology, basic viscometers, controlled stress rheometry, texture analysis
Structural analysis using light microscopy, review of electron microscopic methods
Centrifugation, separation, mass determination

Testing for authenticity and fraud, testing for safety, reliability of data and detection of genetically modified food ingredients, testing for compounds from packaging materials. LO1, LO2, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The subject will be developed through a series of laboratory-based tutorials in which the basic principles of food analysis will be reviewed with students having the opportunity to gain hands-on experienced as required (14 hours). Students will then plan and carry out an analysis of a food sample for a number of specific analytes using appropriate controls to ensure the reliability of the data (14 hours). This investigation will be directed to assessing the authenticity of the sample, detecting fraudulent claims or use and its safety.

It is not expected that students will be able to use every analytical method available but they will select methods that are appropriate to the investigation. Students will be expected to spend a significant amount of time in self-directed study and to read widely around the subject including relevant journals covering food analysis (150 hours).

PDP:  on completion of this module students will evaluate how the module allowed them to develop skills in information technology, organisation and planning, communication, time management; they will also be asked to reflect on their ability to research literature effectively. They should record this in a proforma that will form the basis of their final PDP record submitted with their Dissertation.

Learning outcomes

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

LO1. Critically evaluate the scope and limitations of standard methods.

LO2. Demonstrate their competence in planning and executing advanced analysis of food.

LO3. Measure the reliability of methods particularly when analysis is used for verifying authenticity, detecting fraud and safety testing and discuss the results critically.

Assessment strategy

Students will prepare a critical review, of about 1300 words, on standard methods using reference material from a variety of sources. During the preparation of their critical review, students will be asked to submit draft copies for comments and feedback. This will help them improve their skills in critical reviewing and writing.
They will also write a report (about 3000 words) on the planning, execution, results and interpretation of their extended investigation of the food sample and critically compare their findings with published results. During the investigation report, students will be asked to meet the module team regularly to discuss their experimental design, results and method, as well to submit draft copies for comments and feedback. This will help them improve their experimental skills, understanding and writing.

Summative feedback will be given on the review and investigation report at the time of marking and also a summary of the common points provide via weblearn.


Coultate, T.P. (2009) Food: The Chemistry of Its Components (5th edition). London: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Kirk, R S & Sawyer, R (1991) Pearson’s Composition and Analysis of Food (9th edition). Harlow: Longman Scientific & Technical. (CORE)
Ötles, S. (2009) Handbook of food analysis instruments. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Nielsen S S (editor) (2010) Food analysis (4th edition). New York, Springer. (CORE)
Nollet, L. M. L. (editor) (2015) Handbook of food analysis (3rd edition). Volume 1. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Nollet, L. M. L. (editor) (2015) Handbook of food analysis (3rd edition). Volume 2. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Pomeranz Y & Meloan C E (2000) Food Analysis. Theory and Practice (3rd edition). London: Chapman & Hall. (CORE)