Course Title: Perform food tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

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

  Lecturer : Andrew Andrews Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4543 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  procedures.

 3.3 Identify faulty or unsafe componenets and equipment and report to the appropriate personnel.

 3.4 Check equipment/instrument  calibration using specified standards and procedures (if applicable).

 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 tested, test method and equipment/instruments involved.

  1.2 Identify hazards and enterprise controls associated with sample preparation test methods reagents and/or equipment.

  1.3 Plan parallel work sequences to optimise throughput of multiple sets of samples (if appropriate).     


Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

  6.1 Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety.

  6.2 Minimise the generation of waste and environment 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 systems

  7.2 Maintain confidentiallity and security of enterprise information and laboratory data.

  7.3 Maintain equipment and calibration logs in accordance with enterprise prcedures  


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 graphs.

  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 results  promptly to the appropriate personnel.

5.6 Determine if the basic procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical dta or results.


Receive and prepare food samples

Performance Criteria:

  2.1 Log samples using standard operating procedures

  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 of results.


Test samples to determine food components and characteristics

Performance Criteria:

 4.1 Operate equipment and/or instruments in accordance with test method requirements.

 4.2 Perform tests/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 procedures.   

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

 Students will study and develop basic skills in communicating ideas, collecting,planning analysing and organising information obtained from theory and laboratory sessions in the course Perform Food Tests(ONPS5246C). Problem solving concepts will be explored through a range of analytical food tests and physical measurememts.

Much of the underpinning theoretical knowledge and practical basis for this course has already been delivered in the prerequisites ONPS 5241 (Biochemical properties of food ), ONPS 5237C (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.

Decision making concepts central to the processing, testing and quality control of product samples and /or raw material;s will be discussed prior to laboratory investigation conducted by the students. This may include a range of basic or more complex tests and physical measurements.This subject will run in close conjunction with ONPS 5247 Plan and Conduct a Research project as the major assessment will be an individual report based on an investigation of food samples and/or raw material that the student has carried out either individually or as part of a team. For this reason it is important that students attend all sessions including lectures, small group discussion, and practical laboratory discussions including partaking of any internet activity or other online activity that may be rquired from time to time

Teaching Schedule

Week beginning and topic coveredPerform  Food                                  Tests(2hrs)
Theory and
Perform Food Tests(2hrs)
Theory and Lab Investigation                                                       
Assessment and /or Tutorial Tasks

 Week 1

11th July

OHScompliancein the laboratory

Expectations &Outline of Course for Perform Food Test


Behaviour in Laboratories

Current OHS regulations

Risk assessments

Signing of Compliance forms

 Introduvtion    to course

PowerPoint presentation of elements of competency and performance criteria


 Week 2

18th 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 calculationsand interpretation of analysis

4. Comparison to Standard (or Official) methods for interlaboratory comparison.

This allows for quality control of procedures required for government regulations and to meet international standards 


Practical work

Quantitative estimation of Protein in food sample using the Biuret method.

Report in log book

Week 3

 25th 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 trends in analytical procedures 

 Assessment 2

Internet search

A reference standard method for either chemical or physical analysis in the food industry

Due week 4

4th August

This forms part of the skills assessment

 Week 4

1st August

Making a decision on Testing Procedures

 Chemical Testing

 Procedures  (I)

 Discussion and revision of applications of test procedures 

(i) Availability

(ii) Simplicity or Complexity

(iii) Specificity, Sensitivity & Accuracy

 Assessment 3

Raw material Identification

In class/ Soxhlet extraction of Fat 

Laboratory assessment

 Formal Report

 Due week6

18th August

 Week 5

8th August

Comparison of Methods

(Chemical,Physical& Microbiological)

             Chemical Testing

              Procedures  (II)

 Discussion of examples of testing processess in Carbohydrates,Proteins Lipids,Vitamins and Minerals

 Assessment 4.

Product Identification Skills assessment

(Oral Test in class)

 Week 6

15th August

Comparison of Methods

(Chemical,Physical& Microbiological)

 Microbiological and  Physical  Testing Procedures(I)

 Class will break up into designated groups to discuss microbiological quality testing processes involved in the food industry and common physical testing procedures such as texture, colour and viscosity

 Assessment 5 .                                                 

(Optional) Maybe run as late as October.Formal Reports on Practical Experiments :

(a) GC of FAME of selected oils and fats

(b) AA of Sodium in Soy sauce

Due Date to be announced

 Week 7.

22nd August

Comparison of Methods

(Chemical,Physical& Microbiological) 




 Microbiological and Physical Testing Procedures (II)

 Continuation of above discussion centring around multiple and complex testing and recording of data

Introduction to major project



 Assessment 6.

Inspection of Journal/Log Book

(Provisional Mark)

(25th August) 

 Assessment 7.

Laboratory Experiment ,

Set up and Extraction of Total Fats

(Unknown samples supplied)

(Report due 8th September)

 Week 8 

29th August

Major Project



          Food Analysis  

( A Product and/or Raw materials will be submitted to a team (no more than 2students)

        (Week 1)  

 Students  in teams work on  laboratory investigative analysis  of  Product with minimal supervision within the alloted laboratory times

Laboratory skills will be continuously assesseddurin this  project  on ability to perform correct  analytical tasks within the alloted laboratory times

      Assessment 8

Inspection of Journal/Log Book

(Provisional Mark)

(1st September)

 Week 9

5th September

Food Analysis



 Continuation of Major Project

    (Week 2)

 Students work on Product  investigative analysis with minimal supervision

Consultation with Lecturer where required.

 Assessment 9

Inspection of Journal/Log Book

(Provisional Mark)

(8th September)

 Week 10

12th September

Food Analysis


 Continuation of Major Project

  (Week 3)

 Draft Outline of Project report to be submitted before the 25th September

   Assessment 10

Inspection of Journal/Log Book

(Provisional Mark)

(15th September)

 Week 11

19th September

Food Analysis


 Continuation of Major Project

(Week 4)
 Finalisationof all Laboratory Investigative work and submission of draft outline of Project Report

 Assessment 11

Draft Outline of

Project Report

(Due 22nd September)

       Mid- Semester  Break (26thSeptember-2nd October  inclusive)

 Week 12

3rd October

Food Analysis


 Continuation of Major Project

(Week 5)

 Deadline for all investigative food analysis

Commencement on Project report writing

 Assessment 12

Submission of Journal /Log Book

For  final inspection

(Final Mark for Log Book )

7th October

 Week 13

10th October

Food Analysis


 Continuation of Major Project

(Week 6)

 Week 14

17th October

Food Analysis


 Project Report Writing

(Week 7)


 Week 15

24th October

 Food Analysis


 Project Report Writing

(Week 8)



 Week 16

31st October


 Student Oral Class presentations

(Week 9)

 Student Class Presentations

 Assessment 13

Oral Presentation 15 minute duration

(2nd & 3rd November)

 Week 17

7th November

 Final Week for submission of written work  ( thesis and lab  reports)




 Assessment 14

Research Report on Perform Food Tests

(10th  November)

Week 18

14 November

 Course review and assessment feed back  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

  Food Analysis(2000): Nielsen S, Suzanne(Editor), 3rd Edition: Plenum Publisher Corporation 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

 Laboratory proformas from previous courses

 Internet resources on laboratory methodologies

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

  Summary of assessments for details see teaching schedule

   Research skills assessment                                  5%

   Laboratory decision making                                   20%

  Log book / Journal assessment                             10%

  Practical work and/or test                                        15%

 Oral presentation                                                         10%

 Food analysis research report                                 40%



Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview