Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

FOSC311 Food Product Development

The technical problem-solving phase of food product development set in a simulated industrial research and development situation.

The aim of this full-year project-based paper is for students to gain an understanding of the product development process and the role of food scientists/technologists in the food industry. There is an emphasis on the technical, problem-solving phase of the food product development process and the project is set to simulate the time, cost, quality and process issues faced when working within a company to develop new products. Projects are solicited from food manufacturing companies or research organisations. Projects can range from the development of new products to reformulations or range extenders. All of the projects require the groups to produce a product in a "market ready", packaged form. Students need to go through the stages of concept development, prototype development, shelf-life assessment, consumer testing, packaging design and labelling.

Paper title Food Product Development
Paper code FOSC311
Subject Food Science
EFTS 0.3
Points 36 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,282.70
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

(FOSC 112 or MART 112), FOSC 201, FOSC 202, FOSC 213
FOSC 304, FOSC 309
Schedule C

Teaching staff

Co-Conveners and Lecturers:

Fiona Nyhof

Expert advice is provided by all Food Science staff.

Paper Structure

Students work in small teams to develop a food product under the guidance of experienced staff and using the resources of the Department of Food Science, the wider University and the project sponsor. The teamwork enables students to interact and apply their specialised knowledge gained in other papers, e.g. food chemistry, food marketing, food microbiology, quality assurance and sensory science.

Teaching Arrangements

There are initially three hours of lecture/tutorial time and a 3-hour practical session per week. Once project work begins, students organise their own work arrangements, including weekly team/supervisor meetings, and are required to work on projects in their allocated lab class each week. A minimum of eight hours of project-based work is expected per week. FOSC 311 is 100% internally assessed, including an internal exam.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The main learning outcome is the exposure to a "real-life" product development project in a simulated industrial setting. Students will gain a good understanding of food design and the product development process. By the end of the paper, students will be able to:

  • Solve scientific and technical problems encountered during the development process
  • Apply their basic knowledge of food science, food processing, food microbiology, sensory science, consumer insights and marketing to the food development process
  • Work effectively in a team, especially with respect to problem solving, planning, decision making, delegation of tasks and workload
  • Plan, implement and update plans for project tasks so that goals are met in a timely manner
  • Keep and maintain a log book to record project activities
  • Communicate in a professional and timely manner with clients, consultants, staff, food industry professionals and raw material suppliers
  • Prepare excellent written documentation to communicate their project work (i.e. progress reports, formulation tables, processing specifications, product specifications HACCP plans, costings) and to write a concise final report summarising key points for their project sponsor (client)
  • Carry out marketing, technical and scientific research to inform their project and justify decisions
  • Conduct lab work, food chemical and microbiological analysis, formulation and labelling tasks with accuracy
  • Demonstrate good lab practice and housekeeping abilities
  • Plan and conduct consumer and sensory testing with appropriate ethics approvals for conducting research with human participants involving food
  • Plan and conduct efficient and effective formulation, processing, scale-up trials and stability (shelf-life) tests
  • Plan and conduct market research (literature review, focus groups, surveys, benchmarking)
  • Prepare basic raw material costings for their products
  • Understand food safety, quality assurance, labelling and regulatory requirements
  • Develop compliant food labelling, appropriate packaging graphics and package designs
  • Access and use databases for nutrient composition information and generate accurate nutrition information panels for their products
  • Apply critical thinking to topical and ethical issues such as: innovative foods, food wholesomeness, food safety, nutritional value, packaging, marketing, advertising, waste and the environment, regulatory status, biotechnology, intellectual property and food exporting

^ Top of page


Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-11:50 24
Thursday 14:00-14:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22, 28-34, 36-41
A2 Monday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22, 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-14:50 9-14, 16-22, 28-34, 36-41