Food Preservation

Module summary

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

Specification

Aims

The aims of the Module 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 module 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.