Course Title: Perform basic tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: ONPS5237C

Course Title: Perform basic tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5184 - Diploma of Food Science & Technology

Course Contact: Judi McCann

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8366

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

VBP036 - Apply chemistry knowledge and laboratory practices in the workplace

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to perform tests using standard methods and with access to readily available advice. Personnel are required to demonstrate close attention to the accuracy and precision of measurements and the data obtained. In general, they do not calibrate equipment and make only limited adjustments to the controls. The unit of competency does not cover interpretation or analysis of results or troubleshooting equipment problems.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMLTEST300B Perform basic tests


1. Check equipment before use

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment involved
1.2 Identify hazards and enterprise controls associated with the sample, preparation methods, reagents and/or equipment


2. Interpret test requirements

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Record sample description, compare with specification, record and report discrepancies
2.2 Prepare sample in accordance with appropriate standard methods


3. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Set up test equipment in accordance with test method
3.2 Perform preuse and safety checks in accordance with enterprise procedures and manufacturer’s instructions
3.3 Identify faulty or unsafe equipment and report to appropriate personnel
3.4 Check calibration status of equipment and report any out of calibration items to appropriate personnel


4. Perform tests on samples

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify, prepare and weigh or measure sample and standards to be tested
4.2 Conduct tests in accordance with enterprise procedures
4.3 Record data in accordance with enterprise procedures
4.4 Perform calculations on data as required
4.5 Identify and report ‘out of specification’ or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
4.6 Shut down equipment in accordance with operating procedures


5. Prepare sample

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory
5.2 Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts
5.3 Ensure safe disposal of laboratory and hazardous wastes
5.4 Clean, care for and store equipment and reagents as required

Learning Outcomes

These are outlined in the competencies

Details of Learning Activities

  Students will study  and develop basic skills in communicating ideas, collecting, planning, analysing and organising information obtained from theory (lectures , tutorials including on-line sessions) and laboratory sessions. Concepts will be explored by students through a range of basic tests and measuremets in the laboratory.  

Teaching Schedule

   Weekly Schedule- Semester 1, 2011

Week beginning & Topic CoveredTheory (2 hour)

  Practical / Theory 

(2 hour)   

Assessment and Tutorial tasks

Week 1

7th Feb Topic1 Course Introduction

Course introduction and overview

Laboratory safety discussion

View DVD of Lab safety

Review MSDS

 Week 2
14th February
Topic 2
Photometry and Standard Operating Procedures
 Introduction to Colorimetry and Spectrophotometry and Standard operating procedures for use (Beer –Lambert Law)

 Prac, Assignment 1

Introduction to Spectrophotometry
(Application of B-L law to Analysis)

 Task 1 – This practical demonstration to be answered and stapled to Log book
 Week 3
Topic 3
Standard Operating Procedures

 Analytical Methods and Calibration.
Process of setting up a procedure with respect to an instrument
(spectrophotometer)and calibration procedures


 Analytical Methods and Calibration.
Process of setting up a procedure with respect to an instrument
 Week 4
Topic 4
Standards &

Discuss standards and calibration as it applies to different laboratory procedures
Comparison of Calibration procedures:

    (i) Calibration or  analytical method
   (ii) Standard  addition method
    (iii) Internal standard method

 Practical Experiment. 1

Preparation of
Standard Solutions
and Plotting a
Calibration Curve Using the Helios Spectrophotometer.
Additional Exercise
Calibration of pH meter.

 Task 2 – The standard curve is to be plotted and unknown concentrations calculated from graph and results noted in Log book.
(The graph should be stapled to the Log book)
 Week 5
7h March
Topic 5
Types of
Sample and Preparation


Discuss the kind of sample:

(i) Heterogeneous
(ii) Homogenous
(iii) Manual vs Continuous Sampling

 Week 6
14th March
Topic 6
Sampling and removal of Organic Components

 Mineral Determination in Foodstuff
(i) Ash determination
(ii) Acid insoluble Ash and instrumental analysis
Fat removal via Soxhlet Extraction
Experiment 2 :
The Estimation of the Vanillin Content of
Commercial Vanilla Essence.
 Task 3
Formal Practical report
The estimation of the Vanillin Content of Commercial Vanilla
(Due Week 8)
 Week 7
21st March
Topic 7
The presence of Water in foods

 The structure of water in food:
• Free (Unbound)
• Bound water
The use of physical test Water Activity and Moisture
Content to estimate water in Foods
 Assignment 2.
Select a mineral (eg trace metal Fe in cereal) in a foodstuff and find a current instrumental method on the internet, giving a suitable explanation for its sampling and calibration procedures
 Task 4
Internet Assignment
(Due Week 12)

 Week 8
28th March
Topic 8
 Basic Chromatography Theory
• Mobile Phase
• Stationary Phase
Paper Chromatography
Thin Layer Chromatography
 Practical Experiment 3.
Total Ash Determination(Rapid)
 Task 5
Calculation of Ash of various Foodstuff to be tabled and entered in Log book
Assessment of Log Book

 Week 9
4h April

 Revision of underpinning knowledge of all topics covered in weeks(1-8)
Week 10
11th April

  Mid Semester Test
(Assessment of underpinning knowledge)

2.0 hrs inclusive of all
Topics (1-8) covered at this stage

 Task 7
 Week 11
Topic 9

 Theory on:
HPLC -components and uses:
• Column Types and description.
• Efficiency of separations, types of separation
 DVD on analytical instruments

 Task 6
Assessment on questionnaire regarding the video to be stapled to Log Book

   Mid - Semester    Break (21st-28th


April                  )inclusive                                                      


 Week 12
Topic 10
Atomic Absorption
( Mass Spectrometry & IR

 Theory on:
GLC-components and uses:
• Column Types and description,
• Types of separation
• Atomic Absorption
• IR,, and MassSpectrometry
 Practical Experiment 4
Water activity &
Moisture content in
 Task 8
Formal Report
Water activity and moisture content in Food
( Due Week 14)

 Week 13
9th May
Topic 11
Analysis and Procedures 
 Theory on:
Electrical conductivity:
• pH meters/Glass electrode
• Ion selective electrodes
  Task 9
Log Book in for Asssessment
 Week 14
16th May
Topic 12
Analysis and Procedures
Potentiometric Analysis 

 Direct Reading
Electrodes in the food

 Practical Experiment 5
HPLC estimation of Analgesics and Food Dyes in prepared samples
 Task 10
Formal Report
HPLC estimation of Analgesics and Food Dyes in prepared samples
(Due Week 15)

 Week 15

23rd May
Topic 13
A brief look at Advanced Procedures

 Introduction to more complex Analysis:
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
• Capillary Electrophoresis
 Practical Assessment

 Task 11

Practical Assessment

 Week 16
30th May

 Revision of underpinning knowledge of all topics covered in weeks(8-13)

  Task 12
Final Assessment of Log Book

 Week 17
6th June
End of Semester Test

 End of Semester Test
(Assessment of underpinning knowledge)

 2.0 hrs inclusive of all Topics (8-13) covered at this stage

 Task 13
End of Semester Test

 Week 18
13th June
Course Review
 Course review and assessment feedback  Practical Experiment 7*
Fatty acid analysis of methyl esters of selected fats
Sodium analysis of Commercial Soy Sauce by Atomic Absorption
* These experiments are performed in the higher ed. Labs if available
 Task 14
Formal report on either
Fatty acid analysis of methyl esters of selected fats
Or Sodium analysis of Commercial Soy Sauce by Atomic Absorption
(Due Week ?)
To be done in 2nd Semester


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

  Practical biochemistry: (1997) Wilson K. and Walker J., 4th Edition Publisher: Cambridge University Press.


  Food Analysis (2000): S. Suzanne Nielsen (Editor), 3rd edition Publisher: Plenum Pub Corp.



Principlesof Instrumental Analysis,(1997) Skoog, D. A., Holler, F. J. and Nieman, T. A. 5th , Edition, Publishers Harcourt Brace College.


Other Resources

  General internet resources. A search for any of the above-listed topics using Google will produce an abundance of information, but be careful in what you decide to submit for your assignments. You may need to cross reference internet sources to check authenticity of information.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exam

Assessment Tasks

  Skills assignments (Log Book)                   10%

  Research assignment ( internet )               10%

  Practical Work and/or Test                            30%

   Written Test  1                                                 20%

   Written Test  2                                                 20 %

   Oral Practical assessment                          10%          


Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview