module specification

NF7047 - Food Product Development and Sensory Analysis (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Food Product Development and Sensory 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 40%   CWK 1: Product Review (1500 words)
Coursework 60%   CWK 2: Product development report (3,000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is designed to integrate theory and practice through practical food product development, research and sensory evaluation. Techniques used in industry for commercial product development and creation of initial product concept to product launch involving aspects of packaging, labelling, pricing and marketing and issues of starting a new food business will be explored. Sensory testing will be used to evaluate the quality and consumer acceptability of new food products and practical training will be given in appropriate sensory analysis techniques.

Module aims

Students will research and undertake the development of a food product from initial consumer needs analysis, concept/product briefing to ingredients sourcing, development and sensory trials and a presentation. Quality Function Development and Stage-Gate® process methods will be studied.  Food components and their interaction in food products will be reviewed using case studies of product modifications and reformulations to meet changing health requirements, lifestyle preferences and consumer demand.

The principles and techniques for sensory measurement and analysis will be considered and applied.  In addition key links with food safety and quality management will be developed..


  • Context of the food industry in UK, Europe and worldwide. Influences on food production and trends - lifestyle, economics, functional foods and novel ingredients, nutrition trends and dietary guidelines.  Investigation of market research data.
  • From green field to production – establishing the supply chain. Identification of food development sectors and market potential - the retail food product industry, foodservice and ingredient industry.
  • Gap and market/competitor analysis, customer segmentation and niche marketing, new product development including the Stage-Gate process and food trends.
  • Formulating product design specification- integrating the 'voice of the consumer' by using the Quality Function Development method.  Manufacturing issues and product & ingredients specifications, ingredients sourcing, ethical sourcing.
  • Creative product development- concept development, marketing and manufacturing feasibility studies, test kitchen/pilot plant systems.
  • Product development and modification techniques. Functionality of food components; ingredient technology: function and selection; pilot trial to scale up. Fermentation and NPD.
  • HACCP planning, shelf life and stability issues, nutritional and product labelling, packaging and design.
  • Sensory determination and introduction to the taste panel process, types of tests and their uses. Instrumental assessment of food sensory quality.
  • Designing and conducting statistically valid sensory tests including selecting sensory assessors, sample preparation, and collection, analysis and interpretation of sensory data. Review of rapid sensory profiling techniques.
  • Development of a new food businesses, sources of advice and support. Product costing, market pricing practices and tools. Differences between mark up and gross margin. Food business models.

Learning and teaching

The basic principles will be developed through lectures and contributing to class discussions as students will study how the food industry operates, new product development and sensory analysis. Where possible, these will be illustrated with industrial case studies and appropriate visits. Students will be expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed study including reading of appropriate texts and will be expected to locate and evaluate sources of information such as consultants, industry experts, small business advisors, and undertake appropriate practical food development and sensory work.

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students should:

  1. Have a critical understanding of the key stages of product development, successfully create a new food product and apply appropriate research approaches;
  2. Understand the  key principles of sensory analysis and factors affecting sensory perception, design and conducting statistically valid sensory tests including selecting sensory assessors, sample preparation, and collection, analysis and interpretation of sensory data;
  3. Have an advanced understanding of appropriate techniques for the retail food product industry, foodservice and ingredient industry developing an awareness of nutrition, packaging and marketing as elements of new product development.

Assessment strategy

Students will undertake a product review within a commodity group, the choice of which category will be by agreement with the module tutor. The critical review will comprise an evaluation of 2 variants of a product explaining the manufacturing process, the functional aspects of the chemistry of the ingredients; discussing the differences between the products related to formulation and a sensory analysis comparing the food products. (40%)
Food technology laboratory practical work will be linked with course work in the form of a report of product development work which will assess skills in research techniques, critical analysis of market, product development manufacturing and report writing ( 60%).
Coursework 1 [ LO2, LO3]
Coursework 2 [ LO1, LO2, LO3]


Key Journals -British Food Journal, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Food Quality and Preference, Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Appetite, Trends in Food Science and Technology

Key Websites – DEFRA, DH, Food Standards Agency, British Retail Consortium, Chilled Food Association, Food & Drink Federation, Mintel

Campbell-Platt, G. (2009) Food Science and Technology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK.
Delarue , Lawlor & Rogeaux  (eds)(2015)  Rapid Sensory Profiling Techniques and Related Methods-Applications in New Product Development and Consumer Research Woodhead, Cambridge
Earle, M., Earle, R. (2008) Case studies in food product development Woodhead/CRC, Cambridge. (CORE) On line book via
Food product development - Earle, MD., Earle, R., Anderson, A. M. 2001, 2009 Boca Raton: CRC (on line  book  via
Food and Drink - Good Manufacturing Practice: A Guide to its Responsible Management (2013), 6th Edition Institute of Food Science and Technology
Fuller, G.W.  (2011) New Food Product Development, 3rd Edition. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Hutton, T ,  (2007) Product Development Guide for the Food Industry. Chipping Campden: Campden-BRI. (CORE)
Kilcast, D ,(2010)  Sensory analysis for food and beverage quality control [electronic resource] : a practical guide. Woodhead, Cambridge (CORE)
MacFie H (2007) Consumer-Led Food Product Development, Boca Raton, Fla. : CRC
Moskowitz , H.R, Saguy, S., Straus, T. (2009) An integrated approach to new food product development. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Stone,H ,Bleibaum, R ,Thomas H,  (eds) (2012) Sensory evaluation practices  4th ed. Elsevier/Academic Press.