Course Title: Perform food tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2009

Course Code: ONPS5246C

Course Title: Perform food tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5184 - Diploma of Food Science & Technology

Course Contact: Judith McCann

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8366

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Contact :                     Andrew Andrews 
Phone Contact:        +61 3 9925 4543
Course Contact email :

Nominal Hours: 100

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

All generic core units in the Cert IV and Diploma.

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to interpret food test requirements, prepare samples, conduct pre-use and calibration checks on equipment and perform routine testing of raw food materials, in-process materials and final products. These tests will involve several measurement steps. The unit includes data processing and some interpretation of results and tracking of obvious test malfunctions where the procedure is standardised. However, personnel are not required to analyse data, optimise tests/procedures for specific samples or troubleshoot equipment problems where the solution is not apparent.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMLTEST405A Perform food tests


Check equipment before use

Performance Criteria:

            3.1 Set up instruments and/ or equipment in accordance with test method requirements.
            3.2 Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with relevant enterprise and operating
            3.3 Identify faulty or unsafe components and equipment and report to appropriate personal.
            3.4  Check equipment/instrument calibration using specified standards and procedures (if
            3.5 Quarantine out of calibration equipment and instruments.
            3.6 Ensure that reagents required for the test are available  and meet quality requirements


Interpret and schedule test requirements

Performance Criteria:

            1. 1 Review test request to identify samples to be test , test method and equipment / instruments  
            1.2  Identify  hazards and enterprise controls associated with the sample, preparation test
                    methods, reagents and/or equipment.
             1.3  Plan parallel work sequences to optimise throughput of multiple sets of samples(if


Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

            6.1 Use established  safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal
                   safety and that of other personnel.
            6.2 Minimise the generation of waste and environmental impact.
            6.3 Ensure the safe collection of laboratory and hazardous waste for subsequent disposal.
            6.4 Care for and store equipment and reagents  as required.


Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

            7.1 Enter approved data into laboratory information management  system .
            7.2  Maintain confidentiality and security of enterprise information and laboratory data.
            7.3 Maintain equipment and calibration  logs in accordance with enterprise procedures.


Process data

Performance Criteria:

            5.1 Record test data noting atypical observations.
            5.2 Construct calibration graphs(if appropriate) and compute results for all samples from these
            5.3 Ensure calculated values are consistent with reference standards and expectations.
            5.4 Record and report results in accordance with enterprise procedures.
            5.5 Interpret  trends in data  and /or results and report out of  specification  or atypical data or 
                   results.promptly to appropriate perssonel.
            5.6  Determine if the basic procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical data or results.


Receive and prepare food samples

Performance Criteria:

             2.1 Log samples using standard operating procedure
             2.2 Record sample description, compare with specification and note and report discrepancies.
             2.3 Prepare samples and standards in accordance with food testing requirements.
             2.4 Ensure traceability of samples from receipt to reporting results


Test samples to determine food components and characteristics

Performance Criteria:

            4.1 Operate equipment and/or instruments  in accordance with the test method requirements.  
            4.2 Perform test / procedures on all samples and standards (if appropriate ) in accordance with
                  specified methods 
            4.3 Shut down equipment and/or instruments in accordance with operating systems        

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit a student will be able to:
• interpret test methods/procedures accurately
• prepare and test samples using procedures appropriate to the nature of sample
• performs calibration checks (if required)
• safely operate test equipment/instruments to enterprise standards and/or manufacturer’s specification
• prepare calibration graphs and calculate results using appropriate units and precision
• apply basic theoretical knowledge to interpret gross features of data and make relevant conclusions
• identify atypical results as ‘out of normal range’ or an artefact
• trace and source obvious causes of an artefact
• communicate problem(s) to a supervisor or outside service technician
• record and communicate results in accordance with enterprise procedures
• maintain security, integrity, traceability of samples, sub-samples, test data/results and documentation.

Details of Learning Activities

 1. Much of the underpinning theoretical knowledge and practical basis for this course has already been delivered in the prerequisites ONPS 5421 Biochemical Properties of Food, ONPS5237C Perform Basic Tests, ONPS5236 Perform Microbiological Tests . Students will study and develop further skills in problem solving in the practice of Food Science and Technology. Food Products and /or Raw Materials will be processed by students either individually or working in teams simulating a food industry workplace situation.
2. Decision making concepts central to the processing, testing and quality control of product samples and/or their raw materials will be discussed prior to laboratory investigation conducted by the students. This may include a range of basic or more complex tests(chemical) as well as physical measurements.
3. This subject will run in close conjunction with ONPS5247 Plan and Conduct a Research
Project as the major assessment will be an individual report based on an investigation of a
Food sample and/or Raw material that the student has either carried out individually or in a team For this reason it is important that students attend all sessions including lectures, small group discussions and practical laboratory discussions as well as partaking in any

4. This course is (as it should be ) almost completely student driven. The lecturers  and or guests are the consultants to be utilised for advice. A log book or journal for notes and results is compulsory. This will be examined periodically by the supervisor. 

Teaching Schedule

Week  Beginning

Perform Food Tests (2hr)

Practical Theory and/or  Laboratory Investigation

PerformFood Tests(2hr)  


Practical Theory and/or Laboratory Investigation

Assessment and /or Tutorial Task
Week 1
13th July
OHS compliance in the Laboratory
Outline of Course Perform Food Tests

Behaviour in Laboratories/
Current OHS Regulations
Risk assessments

Signing of Compliance forms

Introduction to Course
Power Point Presentation of Elements of Competency and Performance Criteria
Week 2
20th July
Guidelines to Food Analysis
What to look for as a
Food Analyst
A discussion on
Industry procedures which are dependent on the following :
(1) Proper selection of Food Sample.
(2) Careful performance of Analysis.
(3) Correct calculations and interpretation of data.
(4) Comparison to Standard (or Official) methods for inter -laboratory , comparison. This allows for quality control of procedures required for government regulation and to meet international standards
Week 3
27th July
Analysis of a Sample
 Current and Future Analysis A class discussion of what is expected from a food analyst in industry.
What should the analyst be looking for as a testing strategy ?
Current and future analysis procedures?

 Assessment 1.     

Internet search
A reference standard Method for either chemical or physical analysis.
Due week 4
This forms part of the skills Assessment.

 Week 4
3rd August
Making a decision on the Testing Procedures
 Chemical Testing
Procedures (I)
 Discussion and revision of the applications of test procedures
(i) Availability
(ii) Simplicity or Complexity
(iii) Specificity ,
Sensitivity and Accuracy

 Assessment 2.

Raw Material
In class
Laboratory assessment
Formal Report Due Week 6  

 Week 5
10th August

Comparison of Methods
(Chemical, Physical and Microbiological)

Chemical Testing
Procedures (II)
 Discussion of examples of testing processes involved in Carbo-hydrates, Proteins , Lipids, Vitamins and minerals

 Assessment. 3.
Skills assessment
 Week 6
17th August
Comparison of

(Chemical, Physical and Microbiological
 Microbiological and
Physical Testing Procedures (I)
 Class will break into designated groups to discuss microbiological quality testing processes involved in food industry and common physical testing procedures such as texture, colour and viscosity  *
Assessment 4.
Formal Reports on
Practical Experiments
(a) GC of FAME of selected oils and fats

(b) AA of Sodium in Soy Sauce

 Week 7
24th August
Recording of
Results/ Data

 Microbiological and
Physical Testing Procedures (II)
 Continuation of the above discussion centring around multiple and complex testing and recording of data
Introduction to major poject
 Assessment 5.
Inspection of Journal /Log Book

 Week 8
31st August
Major Project

 Food Analysis
( A Product and /or Raw Materials will be submitted to a team ( 2 students)
( Week 1)
 Students work on Product laboratory investigative analysis with minimal supervision. Assessment 6.

of Journal /Log Book
 Week 9
7th September
Food Analysis Project
 Continuation of
Major Project
(Week 2)
 Students work on Product investigative analysis with minimal supervision.
Consultation with
Where required

 Assessment 7.
Laboratory Experiment
Setup and Extraction of Total Fats
Skills Assessment
 Week 10
14th September
Food Analysis Project
 Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 3)
 Draft outline of Project Report
to be submitted before the 27th  September
 Assessment 8.

Inspection of
Journal/Log book
 Week 11
21st September
Food Analysis Project

 Continuation of
Major Project

(WeeK 4)
 Finalisation of all Laboratory investigative work and submission of
Draft outline of Project Report

 28th September - 5th October(Mid- Semester      Vacation)
 Week 12
5th October
Food Analysis Project
 Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 5)
 Deadline for all investigative food analysis. Commencement on Project report writing Assessment 9
Submission of Journal/Log Book
For final inspection
 Week 13
12th October
Food Analysis Project
 Project Report Writing
(WeeK 6)
 Week 14
19th October
Food Analysis Project
 Project Report Writing
(WeeK 7)

 Week 15
26th October
Food Analysis Project
 Project Report Writing
(WeeK 8)
 Week 16
2nd November 
 Student Oral Class Presentations of
Outline of Project Report
( Week 9)
 Student Class Presentations Assessment 10.
15 minute duration

                          Week 17
                          Begiining  9th November
                          Final week of submission of Project
                          Report                              ( Week 10)
                          Assessment 11
                          Research Report on Perform Food

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Food Analysis (2000): Nielsen S. Suzanne (Editor),

3rd Edition : Plenum Publisher Corp. Publisher


Food Chemistry (1996): Fennema R. Owen (Editor).

3rd Edition : Marcel Dekker.Inc. Publisher.


Food and Nutrition (2002) Wahlquist, M.L.,
2nd Edition, Allen and Unwin Pty Ltd. N.S.W Aus. Publisher.


Other Resources

See Learning Hub

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course consist of:

  • Research skills assessments
  • Laboratory decision making
  • Log book/journal assessment
  • Practical work and/or test
  • Oral presentation
  • Food analysis research report 

Assessment Tasks

See Learning Hub for Details

Assessment Matrix

See Learning Hub for Details

Other Information

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Course Overview: Access Course Overview