Course Title: Apply an understanding of the canning process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: ONPS5240

Course Title: Apply an understanding of the canning process

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5184 - Diploma of Food Science & Technology

Course Contact: Toinette Thake

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4876

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 40

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

VPB035 - Perform microbiological techniques in the food industry,
VPB036 - Apply chemistry knowledge and laboratory practices in the workplace

Course Description

This unit covers the skills and knowledge required to process low acid foods and preserve food in hermitically sealed containers.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP053 Apply an understanding of the canning process


1. Identify thermal processing systems

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Types of thermal processing systems are identified.
1.2 The function and use of each system is clarified.
1.3 The parts of a retort/cooker are recognised.
1.4 Heat treatment procedures are established.
1.5 The factors affecting heat treatment are assessed


2. Prepare the packaging materials for Thermal processing

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Suitable containers for canning are identified.
2.2 Containers properties, function, and integrity is assessed.
2.3 The parts of a double seam are identified.
2.4 A can closing machine (seamer) is set up and operated.
2.5 The characteristics of seamed cans are measured and calculated.


3. Identify unit operations in thermal processing of closed containers.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The quality requirements of raw materials for processing are identified.
3.2 The correct procedures for dicing, slicing and blanching are performed.
3.3 The correct filling procedures for syrups and brines are applied.
3.4 Critical factors affecting commercial sterilisation are identified.
3.5 The steps involved in thermally processing food are identified


4. Establish the role and impact of micro-organisms in the canning of low acid foods.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Micro-organisms relevant to the canning of low acid foods are identified.
4.2 The D Value of micro-organisms is interpreted.
4.3 The types of microbial spoilage important in food canning are assessed.


5. Locate and interpret the legislative requirements regarding the canning of low acid foods

Performance Criteria:

5.1 The need for legislation and regulations is identified.
5.2 The purpose and intent of relevant legislation is identified.
5.3 The roles and responsibilities of authorities responsible for administering legislation are identified.


6. Assess the impact of acidification in relation to the canning of low acid foods

Performance Criteria:

6.1 The acidity of a range of foods is measured.
6.2 The relationship between acidity and growth of microorganisms is identified.
6.3 Critical Control Points are established for acidified foods.


7. Identify the role of chlorination in relation to canning of low acid foods

Performance Criteria:

7.1 The chemical properties of chlorine are identified.
7.2 The effect of chlorine on micro-organisms is assessed.
7.3 The need of chlorination is identified.
7.4 Chlorine in cooling water is measured.


8. Operate a retort

Performance Criteria:

8.1 A retort is set up and operated to specification for a scheduled process.


9. Calculate the sterilizing value of low acid can foods

Performance Criteria:

9.1 The Lethality Value for a product is calculated.
9.2 The Fo Value is calculated from available data.
9.3 The Sterilising Value of a process is calculated.
9.4 The fh value for different container sizes is calculated.
9.5 The time it would take to reach a given temperature at the slowest heating point in a can is calculated.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to

.• Identify the types and function of thermal processing systems 
• Establish the correct procedure for heat treatment
• Identify suitable containers for canning  and assess container properties, function and integrity  • Identify the parts of a double seam
•  operate a can closing machine
• Identify the quality requirements of raw materials for processing
• Establish the correct process requirements for dicing, slicing and blanching   Apply the correct procedure in filling and syruping (brining)
• Identify the steps involved in processing a thermally processed food
• Assess the types of microbial spoilage important in food canning
• Assess the effect of micro-organisms in food canning
• Identify relevant legislation and regulations that apply to the canning process of low acid foods
• Identify the roles and responsibilities of authorities responsible for administering legislation
• Measure the acidity of a range of foods
• Assess the effect of Chlorine on micro-organisms         Measure the amount of Chlorine in cooling water
• operate a retort
• Carry out relevant calculations:ie Lethality Value , the Fo Value , Fh for different sized containers,  D value, Z, value

Details of Learning Activities

Face to face theory lectures
Practical activities- students must complete a series of practical activities and submit written reports on these activities
Industry visits
Research Assignment
Worksheets- calculations and theory

Teaching Schedule

Session 1

Theory:  Thermal processing systems ; Heat treatment procedures ; Suitable containers; Double seam ;

Session 2

Microorganisms and microbial spoilage important in food canning; Low acid and high acid foods

Video: Canning at Ardmona

Session 3 and 4

Industry visit - all day     

Session 5 and 6  

Practical Activity - Canning pears

Session 7

Calcualtions of parameters important in canning

Session 8

Practical Activity: Measurment of residual chlorine in cooling water

Session 9

Legislation and regulations
The roles and responsibilities of authorities responsible for administering legislation

Session 10

Practical Activity:  Assessment of Double seams


Session 11  

Test    (to be held in exam week)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

 Students must be able to demonstrate competency in each of the above elements and associated performance criteria in order to satisfactorily complete this unit.

Assessment tasks will consist of

  • Theory Test
  • practical activities and reports
  •  Worksheets -calculations  and theory
  • Report on Industry Visit /assignment

Assessment Tasks

Written test                        40%
Participation in and submission of a formal report on Canning of Pears         20% 
Report on Practical Activity 2  -  Measurement of the level of Chlorine in cooling water              10% 
Worksheets– calculations /theory             15%
Report on Industry Visit   15%

Assessment Matrix
Theory Test x x x x x x  x   x    x
Practical activity 1   x  x x x x x x x x x x x
Practical Activity 2               
Industry Visit & report   x   x x x      x x
Theory Test x x x x x x  x x  x x   x x x x x
Practical Activity 1       x       x     
Practical activity 2       x   x x x x      
Worksheets  x  x x x         x x x x x
Industry Visit & report x  x x        x  x     

Other Information

The 40 hours allowed for this unit are allocated as follows

Theory classes   -     10 hours

Practical activities -   11  hours

Industry Visit     -          8 hours

research for reports    -   4 hours

calculation and theory  worksheets    -3 1/2 hours

Test Revision    -                 2  hour

Test     -                           1 1/2  hours         to be held in exam week

Course Overview: Access Course Overview