module specification

NF7061 - Food Product Development and Processing (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Food Product Development and Processing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
60 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
80 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 40%   CWK 1: Product review (1500 words)
Group Coursework 60%   CWK 2: New product development (NPD) report (1500 words)
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

This module is designed to cover two important and relevant elements of Food Science program together.
The first element (food product development) 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. 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 discussed and after practical training some of the techniques will be used and the results are analysed.

In the second element of the module (food processing), students will study the basic principles of food processing, theoretical aspects of processes, new technologies in food processing, fermented foods, functional foods, and reduction of waste with particular reference to organic foods. Attendance for all practicals is essential.

Aims of the module
By completing this module you will develop:

• Insight to gap and market/competitor analysis
• Advanced understanding of product modifications and reformulations
• Skills to create a food product from initial consumer needs analysis and concept to the finished product
• Essential abilities to plan sensory trials
• Advanced knowledge of traditional and novel food processing techniques
• Critical understanding of functional foods


• 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 [LO3, 6].
• Gap and market/competitor analysis, customer segmentation and niche marketing [LO3].
• New product development including the Stage-Gate process and food trends [LO1].
• 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 [LO1, 3].
• Creative product development- concept development, marketing and manufacturing feasibility studies, test kitchen/pilot plant systems, pilot trial to scale up [LO1, 3].
• Product development and modification techniques, nutritional and product labelling, sustainable and recyclable packaging and design [LO1].
• Functional foods, fermentation technology [LO6].
• Sensory evaluation: introduction to the sensory assessment, types of tests and their uses.  Selecting sensory panel, and interpretation of sensory data [LO2]. 
• Designing and conducting statistically valid sensory tests Review of rapid sensory profiling techniques [LO2].
• 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 and food business models [LO1, 3].
• Developments in food processing technology - why food is processed, from farm to factory, basic principles [LO3].
• Theoretical aspects of food processing [LO4].
• Advanced technology of food processing, including non-thermal methods [LO4, 5].
• Comparisons of new technologies with conventional processes [LO5].
• Preservation and waste of organic fruit & vegetables - maintaining the quality of organic fruit & vegetables, reducing waste in production, processing and marketing [LO4, 5].

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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 (NPD) and sensory analysis as well as traditional and modern food processing. 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 be able to:

1. Establish a critical understanding of the key stages of product development and successfully create (design) a new food product
2. Demonstrate an understanding of 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. Present 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
4. Provide a detailed understanding of the theory and principles of at least three new processing technologies
5. Compare the effectiveness of conventional and new technologies based on capital and production costs, efficiency, safety and environmental issues
6. Give an in-depth exposition of current developments in functional foods

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 2-4 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.
Food technology laboratory practical work will be linked with coursework in the form of a report of product development, where 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. The coursework will assess skills in research techniques, critical analysis of market, product development manufacturing and report writing.