Course Title: Food Ingredient Structure and Function

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Food Ingredient Structure and Function

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Darryl Small

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2124

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.17

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no enforced requisites for this course.

Assumed knowledge is completion of two semesters of a degree in food technology and nutrition, engineering, science, or other closely related fields.

Course Description

This course is designed to provide overarching principles for the functionality and processing of:

  • Carbohydrates including simple sugars, starch and hydrocolloids
  • Lipids from plant and animal sources, and food ingredients that contribute to lipid function including emulsifiers and antioxidants
  • Proteins of plant and animal origin

In this course you will be required to integrate the consumer, health, business and technical aspects of the major categories of food ingredients. 

This course complements studies in courses including Food Chemistry, and Rheology and Food Biophysics. Together, these courses will provide a foundation for further studies in courses including Food Manufacturing: Animal Products, Food Manufacture: Plant Products, and Product Development.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course you will be able to exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge related to food ingredient structure and function. In general you will be able to draw on a sound knowledge base in order to develop a systematic approach to solving problems related to the function of ingredients in the food industry. You will have increased responsibility for your own learning and resource acquisition and have improved oral and written skills in scientific communication


Specifically, on successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  • CLO1: Understand the structure, composition and function of: (a) simple sugars, starch and hydrocolloids, (b) lipids, emulsifiers and antioxidants, and (c) proteins of plant and animal origin
  • CLO2: Explain how the properties of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins impact on the processing and quality of the finished products
  • CLO3: Understand the interaction between macronutrient structure and processing conditions, and the impact of ingredient selection and processing has on nutritional and physiological factors
  • CLO4: Understand the basis for selecting carbohydrates (simple sugars, starch and hydrocolloids), lipids and proteins (plant and animal) for food applications (e.g. technological, nutritional and sensory)
  • CLO5: Understand the opportunities for ingredient substitution in the context of the normal business process (e.g. cost reduction, improved nutritional profile, shelf-life extension)
  • CLO6: Understand the impact of ingredient modification and/or purification on functional and nutritional properties

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) at AQF Level 7 in BP199 Bachelor of Science (Food Technology and Nutrition); BP289 Bachelor of Science (Food Technology and Nutrition)/Bachelor of Business (Management); BH099 Bachelor of Science (Food Technology and Nutrition)/Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering)(Hons)

1.0 Demonstrate a coherent understanding of science
1.2 You will demonstrate a coherent understanding of the role, relevance and significance of food technology and nutrition 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 technology and nutrition.
2.2 You will demonstrate an ability to implement the principles and practices that underpins product development, food processing, ingredient interactions, and quality assurance.

3.0 Critically analyse and solve scientific problems
3.3 You will demonstrate the ability to apply appropriate critical and analytical thought to issues related to food technology and/or nutrition.

4.0 Demonstrate effective communication of science
4.2 You will demonstrate an ability to write technical and scientific reports.
4.3 You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the result of a technical or scientific investigation using appropriate terminology for the intended audience.

5.0 Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and scientific work
5.2 You will demonstrate initiative and independence.
5.4 You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • Attending lectures where course content will be explained to you
  • Personal study where you will review lecture content and read the recommended texts
  • Performing laboratory based activities where you will practice the techniques described during lectures
  • Analysing and reporting on the results of laboratory activities
  • Undertaking independent research to find scientific information that you will incorporate into to assignments and laboratory reports

Total study hours:

Lecturer, tutor or demonstrator (face-to-face) guided learning activities that will total approximately 60 hours:

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions (undertaken as part of a group)


Independent study activities will total approximately 60 hours, including:

  • Developing a plan to address a problem related to a substantially transformed plant based food product
  • Course content review and examination preparation

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources provided for this course will include:

  • Lecture slides and supporting materials will be provided through the Learning Hub (accessible through myRMIT).
  • ​Lecture recordings that are accessible through the Learning Hub.
  • There is no single textbook that adequately covers entire materials used in this course​. However students will be provided with a​ list of relevant information sources, such as reference books, book chapters​, links to authoritative websites​ and recent articles in scientific journals.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Tasks


Assessment Task 1: Laboratory Reports

You will participate in practical session(s) culminating with submission of scientific and / or technical report(s).

Early Assessment Task: the first laboratory report submitted will be your early assessment task.

Weighting: 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs: 3, 4, 5 and 6


Assessment Task 2: Problem Solving

You will critically evaluate scientific and technical information to solve a problem relevant to the role of food ingredient structure and function.

Weighting: 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs: 3, 4, 5 and 6


Assessment Task 3: Final Examination

You will complete a two hour written final examination at the end of the semester. The examination will be closed book.

Weighting: 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6