Module code: BMS1027

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BROWN J Dr (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 111

Lecture Hours: 37

Tutorial Hours: 2

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module covers the major food components (water, fats, carbohydrates and protein) in terms of their nature and role in foods. It also covers the nutritional principles of fat carbohydrate and protein and how dietary macronutrient requirement values are derived. These aspects underpin the areas of food science and nutrition that follow later on in the programme.

Module aims

Emphasise the nature and roles of water in foods and methods for its analysis

Establish an understanding of the nature and role of disperse systems in foods

Provide an appreciation of the nature and role of lipids in foods, their extraction and purification from natural sources, their modification and their deterioration

Provide an appreciation of the nature and roles of proteins in foods

Explain the nature and function of simple sugars, and their derivatives, in food

Provide a sound understanding of the nutritional principles of the major food components (proteins, lipids and carbohydrates

Provide an understanding of the derivation and application of dietary macronutrient requirement values for individuals and populations

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Distinguish between water content and water activity, and perform simple calculations related to water content; relate water activity to stability/spoilage, and define the factors that affect water quality KCP
Apply a knowledge of fundamental chemical and biochemical properties of food components/ingredients and their relevance to food processing, preparation and acceptability KCP
Define food dispersions, sols, gels, foams and emulsions, and explain the factors influencing their formation and stability KC
Describe the chemical nature of the lipids, how they might be modified, and how this influences their use and deterioration KC
Understand the causes of rancidity, to distinguish between different types of rancidity and appreciate how rancidity can be controlled KCT
Relate the chemical composition of triglycerides to physical properties and behaviour in foods KCT
Explain the structure and physical-chemical properties of food proteins and (bio)chemical principles underlying phenomena such as denaturation, gelling and other changes occurring during food processing which influence food acceptability (C, K, T KCT
Explain the (bio)chemical nature and roles in foods of sugars, oligo- and poly-saccharides, including their dietary significance KCT
Explain how starches differ in nature and behaviour depending on origin and how this may be further modified by (bio)chemical and physical treatment KC
Understand the concept of functional foods and the ability of selected food constituents to influence human health KC
Describe and understand the nature of the major dietary components of food in terms of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates KCT
Describe the energy content of the macronutrients in food and discuss the factors that determine the requirements for energy from these food components KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction 1 (What is Food Science, Learning Outcomes, Assessment, Feedback)
Introduction 2 Key concepts in Nutrition (Dietary reference values: terminology & definitions)
Water in foods: chemical and physical nature of water and ice
Water in foods: water activity, water content, quality and spoilage
Alcoholic beverages
Alcohol and Nutrition
Food dispersions: rheology, Newtonian & non-Newtonian flow
Gelling mechanisms: factors affecting gelation of protein and polysaccharides
Food dispersions: formation and stability of foams and emulsions
An introduction to lipids as key food components (nature & occurrence in foods)
Triglycerides: chemical and physical properties & how these influence foods
From commodity to supermarket shelf: How lipids are extracted & refined
How lipids are modified for food use 1: Hydrogenation
How lipids are modified for food use 2: Inter-esterification, tempering, fractionation
Designer lipids: specialised lipids including lipid substitutes
Rancidity 1: lipases (endogenous & exogenous), lipoxygenase & ketonic rancidity
Rancidity 2: auto-oxidation, sensitizers, initiation, propagation, relative susceptibility
Rancidity 3: assessment (sensory & chemical), predicting & preventing rancidity
Lipids: nutritional properties & dietary reference values
Short answer test on Lectures 1-19 (5 short answer questions)
Food proteins 1: Classification, structure and chemical modification
Food proteins 2: Structure function relationships and food enzymes
Food proteins 3: Protein analysis
Food proteins 4: Egg & soya proteins
Food proteins 5: Dough & bread: gluten structure
Feedback tutorial on short answer test results and test questions by JEB
Feedback tutorial on short answer test questions by RE/NKH
Food proteins 6: Milk proteins
Food proteins 7: Milk products including cheese making 
Food proteins 8: Meat protein structure & post-mortem changes 
Food proteins 9: Processed meat
Proteins: nutritional properties & dietary reference values
Food carbohydrates: Introduction & monosaccharides and sugar alcohols
Food carbohydrates: disaccharides
Food carbohydrates: polysaccharides and starches
Carbohydrates: nutritional properties and dietary reference values
Minor plant constituents: good or bad?
Novel Foods: food revolution of the new millennium?
Revision tutorial covering past questions and expected answers


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students in the early stages of their programme an appreciation and thorough understanding of the nature and role of the key macronutrients in foods as well as the fundamental chemical and biochemical properties of food components and ingredients. This aligns with the programme strategy to help students to acquire and develop a thorough understanding of food science and nutrition in the early stages of their programme.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures (with interactive question and answer sessions) 3-4 hour lectures per week x 11 weeks
• Formative test with 2 hours of feedback tutorials
• Revision tutorials with example test questions
• SurreyLearn video clips on some aspects of the module

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they can describe, explain and understand the fundamental chemical and biochemical properties of food components as well as the nature and role of food macronutrients. The assessment strategy is also designed to provide students with the opportunity to show that they understand the role of macronutrients and the derivation and application of dietary macronutrient requirement values for individuals and populations.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         The examination is 2 hours in length and is composed of 12 short answer questions that cover the module topics. All short answer questions should be attempted. The weighting for the exam is 100 %.


Formative assessment and feedback


A compulsory formative short test (5 questions, 50 mins) is given in week 5/6 in Semester 1. This test is in the same short answer format as the main exam but only covers the material given in the first 19 lectures. The test provides students with the opportunity to answer questions under exam conditions and to receive an indication of their performance and understanding of the module content up to that point. Two one hour feedback tutorials are provided by lecturing staff after the formative test. At these tutorials students receive personalised feedback through their annotated test scripts. Lecturers also go through each question in turn during the tutorial and there is an opportunity to discuss the answers in class. 

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.