Learn the fundamentals of food technology
Understand how food is prepared, packaged, presented and stored in a infomercial situation -
- small scale or large
- factory , cafe or cottage industry
There are 9 lessons in this course:
Overview -Scope and Nature of Food Processing Industry
Nutrient Content of Food
Managing Chemical Processing
Thermal Processing, Pasteurisation and Cooking
Managing Health Claims and Other Statements
Developing New Food Products (including Marketing)
Packaging, Labelling and Storage
Legal, Policy and Management
Developing a New Product - Problem Based Learning (PBL) Project
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Food Processing is Complex
In most instances when food is processed it is for more than one reason.
Human foods are not always tasty or safe to eat in their raw form. Cooking or processing in some other way may make them more palatable, or may be a way of destroying harmful bacteria. Processing may also be used to extend their lifespan (preservation); or to make them more appealing to a buyer.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS OF DESTROYING MICROORGANISMS
This process has been studied in great depth by scientists; and very complex methods of understanding and determining the parameters for processing foods have been developed. To fully understand the science and mathematics that underpins these issues is beyond the scope of this course. The following may give you a very basic understanding of the concepts involved though.
In practice, people who work in the food industry will take advice from or employ the services of highly trained and skilled technologists to monitor and calculate the precise way in which different foods should be handled to optimise the control of microorganisms without causing an unnecessary deterioration in the quality of foods.
When you heat food, microorganisms begin to die. The quantity of microorganisms that die, depends upon the time (duration) of heating, as well as the temperature. There are many different types of microorganisms in food though. Some will be very harmful and must be completely eliminated; but others may be tolerated by the human body (e.g. these may cause spoilage or deterioration in the food, but they may not be human pathogens). The amount of heating required to destroy dangerous microorganisms, can be determined by the quantity of heating needed to destroy the most heat resistant pathogens which need to be destroyed.
Heating food can also be affected significantly by how heat penetrates into the food. Some foods will conduct heat much more slowly than others, meaning that the outside can become quite hot while the inside of a food mass may still be cold. When foods are heated at lower temperatures for longer periods, this may become less of an issue. This issue may also be minimised by mixing the food as it is heated (e.g. when making scrambled eggs). Food scientists conduct what is called a “CUT test” (i.e. Come up test) as a way of measuring heat penetration.
The way in which bacterial microorganisms are destroyed is actually a logarithmic process.
- This means that in a certain time interval, at a given temperature, the same percentage of bacteria will be destroyed.
- This means that if 90% of the harmful bacteria in the original population are destroyed in 1 minute at 100 degrees Celsius, 90% of the remaining bacteria will die in the second minute, 90% of the then remaining bacteria will be killed in the third minute and so on.
This course will help you understand how foods can be affected by different methods of processing. You will develop a solid and broad based understanding and awareness of the techniques used to process food, and the reasons why those different techniques are applied to processing in different contexts.
To become an expert Food Technologist can involve much more study plus extensive industry experience beyond this course. This is however a good starting point. For anyone who works or aspires to work in food service, manufacturing or retail; this course can provide an extremely important foundation that is likely to underpin things you do every day on the job.
WHO SHOULD STUDY THIS COURSE?
- Food Producers (Growers of fruit, vegetables, meat products etc).
- Growers seeking to value add (producing preserves from their grown produce)
- Food Processors (Cottage industries, Small factories, Large processing plants)
- Restaurant or Cafe Staff (Cooks, Waiters, etc)
- Food Retailers
- Food Coaches (anyone giving advice on food or nutrition)
- or anyone else working in the production or use of processed foods