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FOSC201 Food Systems 1

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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 course is designed for students to develop an understanding of the physicochemical properties of the major food components and their importance in food. The properties of water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, colours, vitamins and minerals are covered in detail and provide a foundation for future studies in food science. The principles of major food processing operations and how foods are made safe for consumption over extended time periods are evaluated. In the practical sessions, students will learn the proximate analyses of food components.

Paper title Food Systems 1
Paper code FOSC201
Subject Food Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,110.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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 (FOSC111 or CHEM191) and 36 further 100-level points.

Associate Professor Aladin Bekhit
Dr Graham Eyres

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Aladin Bekhit
Dr Graham Eyres
Dr Dominic Agyei
Dr Biniam Kebede

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

The final examination is three hours in duration and is worth 60% of the final mark. 10% can be replaced by an optional Terms Test (on a plussage basis). The other 40% is evaluated during laboratory performance with a mixture of laboratory reports (3 reports, each worth 10%) and questions (2 sets of questions, each worth 5%).

Teaching Arrangements

Food Science 201 has three lectures per week and six Laboratory classes over thirteen weeks.

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


It is recommended that students obtain:

  • Principles of Food Chemistry by DeMan, J.M., Finley, J.W., Hurst, W.J. and Lee, C.Y. (4th Edition) (2018). Available online here.
  • Food – The Chemistry of its Components by T.P. Coultate (4th, 5th or 6th Edition). The e-version of 4th edition is on line (Available here) and print version 6th edition is on Reserve in the Science Library.
  • Food Processing Technology by P. J. Fellows (4th Edition). Available online here.
  • Food Analysis. Nielsen, S. Suzanne (5th edition) (2017). Available online here

You may find the following text useful if you are proceeding to 3rd year Food Science:

Fennema's Food Chemistry by S. Damodaran and K.L. Parkin and O.R. Fennema (5th Edition)(2017). Available on Reserve in the Science Library (TX541 .F65 2017).

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

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Be introduced to the proximate composition of foods, interaction between components and processing techniques used in the food industry
  • Understand the matter that makes up our food and provides the key to preservation
  • Predict behaviour so that food can have a useful life over very long periods from harvest to consumption
  • 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
  • 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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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


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


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 12, 14, 19, 21
Monday 09:00-11:50 10-11, 13, 15, 18, 20
A2 Monday 14:00-14:50 12, 14, 19, 21
Monday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13, 15, 18, 20