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FOSC111 Food Principles

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An introduction to scientific and social aspects of food including global trends in food production for health and well-being, food choice, sensory properties, and issues around food safety and sustainability.

People are becoming more aware of the importance of eating a healthy diet, keeping foods safe and protecting the planet. This awareness impacts on how food companies approach safe and sustainable food production and how consumers respond to these foods. The Food Principles paper (FOSC111) provides students with an understanding of the science of foods and of consumer behaviour in relation to food. The paper also gives them experience in developing new foods for the market. Students are exposed to current global trends including the production of animal and plant-based foods, management of allergens and development of nutritious and safe foods. This paper is required for students taking Food Science or Consumer Food Science as a degree, and will be of interest to anyone who cares about food and how it impacts on health and the environment.

Paper title Food Principles
Paper code FOSC111
Subject Food Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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Schedule C
Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Professor Indrawati Oey
Lecturers: Associate Professor Aladin Bekhit
Professor Phil Bremer
Dr Graham Eyres
Ms Fiona Nyhof
Professor Indrawati Oey
Dr Miranda Mirosa
Dr Dominic Agyei
Dr Biniam Kebede
Dr Mei Peng

Paper Structure

The paper covers 5 key themes:

  1. Food Science: past, present and future
  2. Understanding food composition: why is it important?
  3. Plant and animal foods
  4. Ensuring food safety and quality
  5. Sensory perception and behaviour
Teaching Arrangements

Lecture (3 lectures/week) and weekly revision tutorials

Fortnightly laboratory classes

The final course mark is based on an internal assessment of 40% and final exam of 60%.

Internal assessment components are:

  • Assignments: 30%
  • Mid-semester Exam: 10%

Recommended texts:

Brown A. 2011. Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation, 5th edition, Cengace Learning, Stamford, USA (or the 4th edition).

McWilliams M. 2008. Foods: Experimental Perspectives, 6th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall Inc, New Jersey (or the new 7th edition).

Both texts will be available on close reserve in the Science Library.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Develop an understanding of how food is produced for health and well-being
  • Develop an understanding of the functional role of ingredients and how ingredient interactions and processing methods influence product characteristics
  • Understand the role of food safety, processing, preservation, quality and sustainability in food production
  • Develop an understanding of the key factors that influence food choice

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Friday 14:00-14:50 12, 15, 22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21
A2 Wednesday 09:00-11:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21
A3 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21
A4 Thursday 09:00-11:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21
A5 Thursday 14:00-16:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 12:00-12:50 20