module specification

NF7009 - Advanced Food Analysis (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Advanced Food Analysis
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 70%   Report (3000 words approx)
Coursework 30%   Critical Review (1300 words)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

The module gives students the opportunity to revisit basic analytical methods used in food analysis and then to experience a range of more advanced methods. The module is assessed through coursework comprising a critical review on standard methods and a report of an analytical investigation.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to give students an over view 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.


Review of the uses of food analytical techniques
             Metabolites and potential changes in GMOs
             Contaminants - pesticide residues, heavy metals, environmental contaminants
             Sample selection and preparation, reporting, reliability
Chemical analysis
             Standard methods for food proximates - a comparative review of methods in general use, their scope and limitations
             Chromatographic methods - GC, GC-MS, Thin layer, HPLC, ion exchange etc
             Immunological methods - ELISA, Blotting techniques
             Spectroscopic methods - flame photometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, UV, IR and Visible light spectrophotometry, fluorimetry, NMR
             Developments in rapid testing & rapid diagnostic methods- enzyme kits, gluten etc
Physical methods
              Colour measurement
              Radioactivity, counting, radioimmunology
              Food rheology, basic viscometers, controlled stress rheometry, texture analysis
              Dynamic Thermal Mechanical Analysis
              Differential scanning calorimetry
              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.

Learning and teaching

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 (13 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 (152 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:

1. Critically evaluate the scope and limitations of standard methods

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

3. 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

SStudents will prepare a critical review, of about 1300 words, on standard methods using reference material from a variety of sources. 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.
Coursework 1 [ LO1]  Coursework 2 [ LO2, LO3]


Coultate, T.P. (2008) Food: The Chemistry of Its Components. 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. (2008) 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) Handbook of food analysis (2nd edition). v1: Physical characterization and nutrient analysis. New York: Marcel Dekker.
Nollet, L. M. L. (editor) (2004) Handbook of food analysis  (2nd edition). v2: Residues and other food component analysis. New York: Marcel Dekker.
Nollet, L. M. L. (editor) (2004) Handbook of food analysis  (2nd edition). v3: Methods and instruments in applied food analysis. New York: Marcel Dekker.
Pomeranz Y & Meloan C E (1994) Food Analysis. Theory and Practice (3rd edition). London: Chapman & Hall. (CORE)