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FOSC201 Food Systems 1

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.

Paper title Food Systems 1
Paper code FOSC201
Subject Food Science
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,858.95

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72 100-level points
Schedule C
For students not taking Consumer Food Science or Food Science as a major or minor subject, the prerequisite is (FOSC 111 or CHEM 191) and 36 further 100-level points.

Associate Professor Aladin Bekhit and Dr Graham Eyres

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Aladin Bekhit and Dr Graham Eyres

Paper Structure
The main themes covered are:
  • Natural food components and their properties and measurement
  • Food component stability and interactions
  • Introductory food processing and preservation
Teaching Arrangements

FOSC 201 has three lectures per week and a laboratory every two weeks over 12 weeks.

Students should allocate 12 hours per week to this paper over the semester. This time includes lectures, laboratories, completion of reports and independent study.

The final examination is three hours in duration and is worth 60% of the final mark, with the other 40% evaluated during laboratory performance, comprising a mixture of laboratory skills and reports.
A discretionary terms test is held mid-term that may be used to replace 10% of the final exam.
Assessment is subject to change for 2019.

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.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
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

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-12
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-12
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 15, 20-21
Monday 09:00-11:50 10-11, 13
Tuesday 09:00-09:50 18
A2 Monday 14:00-14:50 15, 20-21
Monday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13
Tuesday 09:00-09:50 18