Course Title: Perform food tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

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

Veluppillai Packiyasothy

Bulding 51, Level 7, Room 5

Tel: 9925 4723

Fax: 9925 4144

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


01. 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


02. Receive and prepare food samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Log samples using standard operating procedures (SOPs)
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


03. Check equipment before use

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Set up equipment/instruments 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 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


04. 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


05. 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. Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with enterprise procedures, if required

5.5. Record and report results in accordance with enterprise procedures

5.6. Interpret trends in data and/or results and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.7. Determine if basic procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical data or results



06. 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


07. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

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

Teaching Schedule

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
08th July
OHS compliance in the Laboratory
Outline of Course Perform Food Tests Discussion
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
15th 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 sample Report in log book

Week 3
22th 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
29th 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 Identification
In class/Soxhlet Extraction of Fat Laboratory assessment
Formal Report Due Week 6 18th August
Week 5
5th 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. 4
Identification Skills assessment (Oral Test in class)

Week 6
12th August
Comparison of
Methods (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 (optional) May be run as late as(a) GC of FAME of selected oils and fats
(b) AA of Sodium in Soy Sauce

Week 7
19th August
Recording of Results/ Data Presentation

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
(teams) Assessment 5.
Inspection of Journal /Log Book

Assessment 6.
Laboratory Experiment
Setup and Extraction of Total Fats Unknown samples supplied

Week 8
26th August
Major Project
Commencement 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 7

of Journal /Log Book
(Provisional Mark)

Week 9
2nd 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 8.

Inspection of
Journal/Log book
( Provisional Mark)
Week 10
09th September
Food Analysis Project

Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 3) Draft outline of
Project Report
to be submitted before the
23rd September Assessment 9

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 10

Draft Outline of
Project Report
Mid – Semester beak (September 23rd – October 4th inclusive)
Week 12
Food Analysis Project

Continuation of
Major Project
(WeeK 5) Deadline for all investigative food analysis. Commencement on Project report writing

Assessment 11
Submission of Journal/Log Book
For final inspection
(Final Mark for Log BooK)

Week 13
14th October
Food Analysis Project
Project Report Writing
(WeeK 6)
Week 14
21st October
Food Analysis Project
Project Report Writing
(WeeK 7)

Week 15
28th October
Food Analysis Project
Project Report Writing
(WeeK 8) Test Written Test cover all theory
& calculation.
Week 16
4th November
Presentation Student Oral Class Presentations
( Week 9)

Student Class Presentations

Assessment 12.
15 minute duration

Week 17
11th 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 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
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

Research Skills Assessments 5%
Laboratory Decision Making 20%
Log Book / Journal Assessment 10%
Test 15%
Oral Presentation 10%
Food Analysis Research Report 40 %

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

The 100 hours allowed for this unit are allocated as follows:

Class Theory 34 hours

Practicals 34 hours

Research Task 20 hours

Activities/work sheet 10 hours

Test/Presentation 2 hours

Course Overview: Access Course Overview