Course Description

Course Name

Food Systems 1

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

36 100-level points

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Detailed study of the chemical, biochemical and physical characteristics of food components. Their measurement, and the interactions between components, are used to describe the compositional changes that occur in foods from harvest to consumption.

The paper is designed for students to develop an understanding of the physicochemical properties of the major natural food components and the background for later papers in food processing and product development, food safety and advanced chemical analysis. Water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and the nature of specific food system attributes, such as colour, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, are considered in detail. The principles of traditional food processing operations and how foods are made safe for consumption over extended time periods are evaluated. In the practical sessions we study the proximate quantitative analyses of natural food components.

Learning Outcomes
-To introduce students to the proximate composition of foods, interaction between components and processing techniques used in the food industry
-To understand the matter that makes up our food and provides the key to preservation
-To predict behaviour so that food can have a useful life over very long periods from harvest to consumption
-To relate the theory of fluid flow, heat transfer and mass transfer to understanding of unit operations in food processing and in the design of food processing equipment
-To appreciate the effects of process equipment choice on the quality and safety aspects of the food being processed and to economically choose the most appropriate unit operation for the desired process outcome

It is recommended that students obtain:

Food - The Chemistry of its Components by T.P. Coultate (4th or 5th Edition)
Food Processing Technology by P. J. Fellows (3rd Edition)

Both of these texts are available electronically through the University of Otago Library website.

You may find the following text useful if you are proceeding to third-year Food Science:
Food Chemistry by Owen Fennema

All books will be available on close reserve in the Science Library.

*Course content subject to change