Course Title: Food Preservation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Food Preservation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Benu Adhikari

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99259940

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.6.5

Course Coordinator Availability: Normal hours

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is an introductory enabling course requiring no formal prerequisites.

Course Description

You will study commercial preservation technologies used in the preservation of fresh, minimally processed and processed foods in terms of their objectives, mode of action and the unit operations, materials and equipment employed.
In addition to the study of food preservation techniques which preserve foods through the application of heat, removal of heat, modification of water activity, modification of atmosphere , modification of acidity and through fermentation and chemical preservation , new and emerging preservation technologies will also be considered as will the role of packaging in relation to food preservation. 
You will also be introduced to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The overall purpose of this course is to develop:
An ability to apply scientific principles to develop, produce and monitor food products and ingredients for the food industry which are safe, nutritious and appealing for human or animal consumption and to do so safely, in a changing global market shaped by economic, cultural, environmental and regulatory forces.

Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to:
• Locate and appraise legislative requirements or authoritative guidelines relevant to shelf life extension in fresh, minimally processed and processed foods.
• Recognise the elements of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system
• Identify the principles of preservation processes
• Operate or observe equipment used in preservation processes with an understanding of the mechanism of preservation employed and the effects of the individual unit operations applied on food properties.
• Apply principles of food preservation to pilot scale production of processed food and evaluate variation in processing parameters or product formulation on product properties
• Prepare for practical exercises, organise team work and reflect on issues arising from practical exercise(s) and or production simulation(s) utilising the communication tools i.e. DLS Discussion board
• Identify and examine the method of packaging, packaging materials and storage practices employed in shelf life extension of fresh, minimally processed and processed foods in terms of the produce properties
• Recognise and analyse spoilage symptoms in fresh, minimally processed and processed foods and relate  same to the causes of food spoilage.
• Appreciate the effects of the raw material quality and handling procedures on the required severity of heat treatment, and total safety of the canned food produced
• Apply mathematical equations to calculate and graph process parameters and critically evaluate the boundaries of “acceptable” processes
• Appreciate the effect of processing upon the nutritional properties of foodstuffs

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes(PLO)

1.0 Demonstrate a coherent understanding of science

  • 1.2 You will demonstrate a coherent understanding of the role and relevance of Food Science in society.

2.0 Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge :

  • 2.1 You will demonstrate a depth and breadth of the core concepts in food science and technology.
  • 2.2 You will demonstrate an ability to implement the principles and practices that underpins product development, food processing and preservation, ingredients interaction, and quality assurance.

3.0 Critically analyse and solve scientific problems :

  • 3.1 You will demonstrate an ability to apply scientific principles and methods at an advanced level to diagnose and solve complex problems associated with food ingredients interactions during manufacture.

4.0 Demonstrate effective communication of science :

  • 4.1 You will able to effectively communicate about food and nutrition issues using oral written and presentation skills.
  • 4.2 You will demonstrate an ability to write technical and scientific reports.

5.0 Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and scientific work

  • 5.4 You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.

Overview of Learning Activities


• Attendance in lectures where syllabus materials will be presented and explained.

• Participation in practical sessions where prac teams will work in the pilot plant and laboratory in the processing ,preservation and evaluation of food .

• Application of mathematical equations to calculate and graph thermal process parameters and
critically evaluate the boundaries of “acceptable” thermal processes.

• Construction of process flow diagrams and charts to record and communicate process information pertaining to prac sessions.

• Private study working through the course as presented in class and performed in the pilot plant and laboratory and where undertaken observed during a plant visit. The searching, review and critical appraisal of literature and the writing of scientific and technical reports also form part of the private study activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, (re recommended reference list below), library resources (including appropriate journals) and freely accessible Internet sites.
You will be able to access course information and learning material through the MyRMIT site(also known as Blackboard).
Moir C.J Andrew-Kabilafkas C. Arnold G., Cox B. M. Hocking A. D & Jenson I., 2001, Spoilage of Processed Foods: Causes and Diagnosis, Southwood Press Pty Limited.
Fellows.P.J., 2000, Food Processing Technology Principles and Practice Woodhead Publishing Limted, Cambridge.
Reyes, V.G 1996, Improved preservation systems for minimally processes vegetables. Food Australia 48 (2)
Wills R.B.H mcGlasson W. B. Graham, D, Lee T.H and Hall E.G.1989, Postharvest An Introduction to the Physiology and handling of fruit and vegetables, 3rd ed. N.S.W University Press.
Potter N.N and Hotchkiss J.H. 1998, Food Science Aspen Publishers Inc. Maryland
Heldmann, D.R Hartel, R.W., 1997, Principles of food processing, International Thompson Publishing
Adams and Moss, 1995. Food Microbiology. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Cambridge
Dellino, C.V.J 1990. Cold and Chilled Storage Technology, Blackie, London
Fellows, P.T 2000. Food processing Technology Principles & practices, CRC Press, Boca Raton. FL. RMIT call number 664F322.
Gould, G.W 1989. Mechanism of Action of Food Preservations procedures. Elsevier Applied Science, RMIT call number: 644.028.M486
Josephson, E.S and Peterson M.S. 1988. Preservation of Food by Ionizing Radiation, Vol III, CRC Press, Florida
Rees and Betlsion, 1991. Processing and Packaging of Heat Preserved Foods, Blackie, London
Stumbo, C.R. 1973 Thermobacteriology in Food Processing. 2nd Ed. Academic Press. London
Wiley, R.C. Minimally Processed Refrigerated Fruits and vegetables, Chapman & Hall. RMIT call number 664.85. M665

Overview of Assessment

 Assessment in this course will be in accordance with the Australian Qualification Framework level 7 criteria and based on the following:

• Participation in practical sessions in the pilot plant and laboratory culminating with the submission of a scientific report that will address PLO-2, PLO-4 and PLO-5 and provide you with feedback on your prac performance and reporting.

• Submission of a literature review assignment on a topic of significance and relevance to the area of study which will address PLO- 1, PLO-2 and PLO-4 and which will provide you with feedback on your selection, review and critical appraisal of literature.

• A two hour closed book final examination at the end of the semester that will address specific learning outcomes listed under PLO-1,PLO-2,PLO-3 and PLO-4.