Course Title: Perform food tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

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

Teacher: Veluppillai Packiyasothy
+61 3 9925 4723

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 equipment/instruments in accordance with test method
3.2 Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with relevant
enterprise and operating procedures
3.3 Identify faulty or unsafe components and equipment and report
to appropriate personnel
3.4 Check equipment calibration using specified standards and
procedures (if applicable)
3.5 Quarantine out-of-calibration equipment/instruments
3.6 Ensure 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 the
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 and that of other
laboratory personnel
6.2 Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts
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
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 graphs
5.3 Ensure calculated values are consistent with reference
standards and expectations
5.4 Record and report results in accordance with enterprise
5.5 Interpret trends in data and/or results and report ‘out-ofspecification’
or atypical results promptly to appropriate
5.6 Determine if 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 of


Test samples to determine food components and characteristics

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Operate equipment/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/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 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 measurements.
Much of the underpinning theoretical knowledge and practical basis for this course has already been delivered in the prerequisites which include ONPS 5241 (Biochemical properties of food), ONPS 5237C(Perform basic tests),ONPS 5136(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 wll be processed by students either individually or working in teams simulating a food industry situation
The students will learn decision making concepts central to the:
• processing,
• testing
• and quality control of product samples and/or raw materials.
From this students will choose strategies and test various food products and or raw materials with minimal supervision. 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 internet activity or other online activity that may be required from time to time.
This course is (as it should be) mostly 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 from time to time by the supervisor.

Teaching Schedule

Weekly Schedule - Semester 2, 2012

Week beginning and topic covered     Perform Food Tests
(2 hours)
Laboratory Investigation and Practical Theory    
   Perform Food Tests
(2 hours)
Laboratory Investigation and Practical Theory  
    Assessment and/or
Tutorial tasks   
Week 1
09th 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
16th 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.                                                
Assessment 1
Practical work
Quantitative estimation
of Fibre in Food samples

Report in log book

 Week 3
23th 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 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
30th July
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 3
Raw Material
In class/Soxhlet Extraction of Fat
Laboratory assessment
Formal Report Due Week 6 18th August
 Week 5
6th August
Comparison of
(Chemical, Physical and Microbiological)
 Chemical Testing Procedures (II) Discussion of examples of testing processes involved in Carbo-hydrates, Proteins , Lipids, Vitamins and Minerals Assessment. 4
Skills assessment
(Oral Test in class)
 Week 6
13th 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 5 (optional) May be run as late as
Formal Reports on
Practical Experiments
(a) GC of FAME of selected oils and fats
(b) AA of Sodium in Soy Sauce
(Due date TBA)
 Week 7
20th 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 project
 Assessment 6.
Inspection of Journal /Log Book
(Provisional Mark)
( 25th August)
Assessment 7.
Laboratory Experiment
Setup and Extraction of Total Fats
Unknown samples supplied
(Report due 8th September)
 Week 8
27th August
Major Project
 Food Analysis
( A Product and /or Raw Materials will be supplied for analysis to a team ( 2 students)
( Week 1)
 Students work on Product laboratory investigative analysis with minimal supervision. Assessment 8

of Journal /Log Book
(Provisional Mark)

 Week 9
3rd September
Food Analysis Project
 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)

 Week 10
10th September
Food Analysis Project
Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 3)
 Draft outline of
Project Report
to be submitted before the
26th September
 Assessment 10

Inspection of
Journal/Log book
( Provisional Mark)

 Week 11
17th September
Food Analysis Project
 Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 4)
 Finalisation of all Laboratory investigative work and submission of
Draft outline of Project Report
 Assessment 11

Draft Outline of
Project Report

 Mid – Semester break (September 24th – October 5th inclusive) 
 Week 12
8th October
Food Analysis Project
 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)
 Week 13
15th October
Food Analysis Project
 Project report writing
(WeeK 6)

 Week 14
22nd October
Food Analysis Project

 Project report writing
(WeeK 7)
 Week 15
Food Analysis Project
 Project report writing
(WeeK 8)
 Week 16
5th November
 Student Oral Class Presentations
( Week 9)
 Student Class Presentations Assessment 13.
15 minute duration
 Week 17
9th November
 Final week for submission of written work (thesis and lab
reports ) ( Week 10)
  Assessment 14
Research Report on Perform Food Tests
  Course review and assessment feedback  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Food Analysis (2000): Nielsen S. Suzanne (Editor),
3rd Edition : Plenum Publisher Corp. Publisher
ISBN: 0 - 30 - 647495 – 6


Food Chemistry (1996): Fennema R. Owen (Editor).
3rd Edition : Marcel Dekker.Inc. Publisher.
ISBN: 0 - 8247 - 9691 - 8 Food and Nutrition (2002) Wahlquist, M.L., 2nd Edition, Allen and Unwin Pty Ltd. N.S.W Aus.Publisher.
ISBN: 1 - 86508 - 692 – 4

Other Resources

Laboratory proforma from previous courses

Access to an internet connected computer outside of class times - Internet connected computers are available in various computer laboratories and libraries throughout RMIT.  

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

The assessment tasks in this course do not carry equal weight, it is compulsory that students submit for all the assessments listed unless specified otherwise by the instructor. Students who are absent for a test, exam, oral etc will be given an opportunity for deferred assessment only when an application for Special Consideration has been submitted within 48 hrs.of the assessment date and Special Consideration has been granted. Assignments, reports etc will be accepted after the due date only when a student has successfully applied for an Extension of Time or Special Consideration. For further information go to the RMIT website or myRMIT Studies (Blackboard). Failure to apply for an Extension of Time or Special Consideration, may mean a failure in competency for this course.

Task 1 - Week starting 16/ 7/2012 – Assessment 1
                                                                   Practical Estimation: Quantitative estimation of Fibre in food sample . in log book
Task 2 Week starting 23/7/2012  – Assessment 2 
                                                                 Internet Search – Reference standard method for either a chemical or physical method in the food industry . due 6thAugust
Task 3 Week starting 30/7/2012  -   Assessment 3
                                                                 Identification of Raw Material designated tests using Soxhlet extraction of fat (In class)
                                                                 Formal Report due 13th August
Task 4 – Week starting 6/8/2012– Asessment.4
                                                                 Product Identification Skills. 
                                                                 In class assessment of use of qualitative skills in interpretation of quality of a variety of products (Oral Tests in class 17 th August)
Task 5 - Week starting 13/8/2012- 
                                                                Laboratory Experiments
                                                                (a) Fatty acid analysis of methyl esters of selected fats
                                                                 (b) Sodium analysis of Commercial Soy Sauce by Atomic Absorption 
                                                                 Formal report of either one of the above analysis due 1 week after practical exercise completed
Task 6 - Week starting 20/8/2012- Assessment 6
                                                                Inspection of log book/journal 
                                                                (Provisional Mark 27th August) 
                                                                Assessment 7
                                                                 Laboratory Experiments
                                                                 Students set up and extract total fats on sample and analyse for degree of unsaturation
                                                                 Unknown samples provided
                                                                 Formal Report due 3rd September
Task 7 Week starting 27/08/2012– - Commencement of Major Project 
                                                                 Setup of teams for major project
                                                                 No more than two students per team 
                                                                 Introduction of unknown products and raw materials for food investigative analysis project 
                                                                Assessment 8
                                                                Inspection of log book/journal 
                                                                (Provisional Mark 7thSeptember)
Task8 – Week starting 3/09/2012- Continuation of Major Project
                                                                 Students work on project under minimal supervision, with consultation as required from lecturer
                                                                 Assessment 9
                                                                 Inspection of log book/journal 
                                                                 (Provisional Mark 10th September )
Task 9 –Week starting 10/09/2012- Continuation of Major Project 
                                                                  Draft proposal of Project Report to be commenced and submitted prior to 21st September 
                                                                  Assessment 10
                                                                  Inspection of log book/journal 
                                                                  (Provisional Mark 21st September )
Task 10 - Week starting 17/09/2012 – Continuation of Major Project
                                                                  Finalisation of all laboratory investigative work and submission of draft outline of Project Report
                                                                  Assessment 11
                                                                  Inspection of draft outline of project report (proposal)
Task 11- Week starting 8/10/2012 Deadline for all Investigative Food Analysis
                                                                 Commencement of Project Report writing
                                                                  Assessment 12
                                                                  Submission of logbook/journal for final assessment
                                                                 Work on Project Report 3rd - 26th October using data obtained from your investigations
Task 12- Week starting 5/11/2012 Class Presentations
                                                                 Assessment 13
                                                                Oral Presentation of Project Report Outline and/or reference method of Analysis
Task 13 –Week starting 9/11/2012 – Final Week for submission of Final Project Report 
                                                                Assessment 12
                                                                Research Report on Investigative Analyses of Food Products

There will be NO resits for each of the practical exercises, practical exams unless a student has successfully applied for Special Consideration as per RMIT policy.
Assessable work will not be accepted after the due date unless a student has successfully applied for an Extension of Time or Special Consideration as per RMIT policy
Resubmits may be offered only with the approval of the Program Coordinator/Program Manager. 

In summary the course is assessed in the following manner :
Research Skills Assessments 5%
Laboratory Decision Making 20%
Log Book / Journal Assessment 10%
Practical Work and/or Test 15%
Oral Presentation 10%
Food Analysis Research Report 40 %

Competency Achieved (CA) or Not Yet Competent (NYC) will awarded for each assessment task. 

* For a student to pass this course and gain a mark of 50%, the student must achieve CA for each (and all) of the preceding assessment tasks.

* For a student to gain a mark > 50% the student must
- satisfactorily complete, present all documentation required
- successfully complete the 3 practical tasks
- gain competency (CA) in all the above tasks
- sit the final theory based exam for a mark /50 added to the semester task mark, for a final % mark or 50%, whichever is greater.
(N.B. The final exam will be graded only if the student has already received CA for each (and all) the preceding assessment tasks.)

* If a student is unable to gain competency during the semester class time and class practical tests, competency may be gained by sitting the final theory test to demonstrate competency in the elements failed. If a student does achieve the desired level of competency in previously submitted assessment tasks, the student will gain a mark of 50% (and no higher), ie competent.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

The student will be required to undertake research and assessment practice outside of regular class times. Homework exercises are provided to the student to facilitate their learning in a self-paced manner and form part of the overall achievement of the competencies in this course. Students are reminded that they are expected to conduct an equal amount of time outside of class, research and furthering their understanding of the concepts being taught, as they do in class to be deemed competent in this course.

University Plagiarism Statement
Students are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism in oral, written or visual presentations is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing, as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. The use of another person’s work or ideas must be acknowledged. Failure to do so may result in charges of academic misconduct, which carry a range of penalties including cancellation of results and exclusion from your course. Students are responsible for ensuring that their work is kept in a secure place. It is also a disciplinary offence for students to allow their work to be plagiarised by another student. Students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the use of copyright material.

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