Food Preservation

Module summary

Module code: FOOD1023
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Julie Crenn


Pre and co requisites



The aims of the course are to develop a basic understanding of the most common methods of food preservation and their effects upon food systems; to examine the relationship between preservation methods and food safety; as well as to examine food safety regulations required to meet specific food safety objectives.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 critically appraise food preservation methods at basic and practical (industrial) levels;
2 reflect upon the significance of the effects of processing and preservation methods on the stability of food systems;
3 assess the relationship between food preservation methods and food packaging;
4 identify the physical and chemical conditions required for food stability and safety;
5 explain and critically assess world-wide aspects of food regulations relative to preservation methods and food safety.

Indicative content

Food preservation methods fall into one of four areas of study: thermal processing, food chilling and freezing or chemical preservation. Under the topic of thermal processing, students will examine the effects of heat upon potential food safety hazards under pasteurising and sterilising conditions. Students will gain a basic understanding of the effects of sub-ambient temperatures upon the metabolism of microorganisms including a discussion of psychrotrophs. Food drying topics will include the concept of water activity, drying techniques, intermediate moisture foods and freezing. Chemical preservative methods will include antimicrobial chemical compounds and modified and controlled atmosphere gas mixtures. Inherent to the discussion of preservation methods will be topics related to barrier packaging.

Teaching and learning activity

The core knowledge will be transferred through the flipped classroom concept and a problem-based learning approach. The teaching and learning activities will take place through Lectures, seminars, interactive sessions using case-studies and practical sessions. Students will also be invited to visits local food producers and food processors.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Contact Hours lectures 29
practical sessions 6
tutorials 7
Private Study 83
Assignments: course work and other forms of assessment coursework 25
laboratory work


Creation of an Artefact - 50% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Each students will create a 10-minute artefact, presenting the results of their investigation on a given case study. The students will receive written and oral feedback on their work from the course tutor. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4 & 5.

Essay - 50|% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Each student will write a 2000 word assignment on a relevant topic in food preservation. The students will receive written and oral feedback on their work from the course tutor. 2000 words. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessments (0% weighting):

Group Presentation - The students will give a 10-minute presentation on a given topic. The students will receive peer- and tutor feedback. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Lab Reports - The student will write a short report on each laboratory session. The students will receive written and oral feedback on their work from the course tutor. 500 words. Learning outcomes 1, 2 & 4.