AP0523 - Analytical and Food Chemistry

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn some of the fundamental theoretical principles in the field of food chemistry with particular reference to the chemistry of food components, Maillard reaction, caramelisation and lipid oxidation. This will be supplemented with knowledge on the parameters that influence such reactions and the impact of processing and storage on the overall product quality.

You will learn about key theoretical concepts in analytical chemistry pertinent to quality control processes in a food manufacturing setting. Such concepts include physicochemical properties of food components as well as theoretical principles pertinent to food sampling, extraction, purification and determination using a series of analytical methodologies such as spectrophotometry, gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Theoretical concepts in data analysis will also be discussed and employed in IT workshops.

You will also learn and employ laboratory techniques in chemical analysis pertinent to the determination of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), as well as techniques related to the determination of compounds such as vitamins, sugars and fatty acids. During practical work you will look at the analytical methods used to identify and quantify such nutrients, providing a link to the understanding of food nutritional labelling.

You will gain insights in Good Laboratory Practice and Health and Safety pertinent to analytical laboratories, as well as the importance of Quality Assurance schemes employed in laboratories.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, IT sessions and independent learning. The lectures will provide the knowledge required for you to understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the specialist subjects that will enable you to put into practice these concepts and techniques during the laboratory sessions. You will work on these during hands-on sessions in Northumbria’s IT labs, which are fully equipped with the latest industry-standard software.
Practical sessions will involve laboratory manipulations, data handling, calculations and the writing of practical reports. Formative feedback will be provided to you from these sessions.

Directed learning will support the material delivered during taught and practical sessions and will allow you to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and support your transition to independent learning and critical analysis.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutor will provide you with academic material to support taught sessions on the respective module sites using the eLP. Material to support lectures will be uploaded in advance of lectures and practicals and the module tutor is able to provide you with guidance about the module content. You will also have the opportunity to attend tutorial sessions to discuss module content and receive guidance on the assessments.

In terms of wider university support, the library has a comprehensive portfolio of short courses, structured help, and leaflets to help you with issues such as, the English language, academic writing, basic mathematics, software programmes such as Microsoft Excel, statistics, critical thinking, laboratory report writing, and more general information such as “how to find a book or journal”, or “how to order an Inter-Library loan”. These can be accessed at the help desk in the library itself or online (www.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand the main chemical reactions that occur in foods during manufacturing and storage.
2. Understand the theoretical concepts of food analysis, techniques and Quality Assurance procedures in a laboratory environment.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Develop good working practices in accordance with Health and Safety Regulations and Good Laboratory Practice guidance documents.
2. Develop data analysis and reporting skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. Develop professional and ethical skills by carrying out analytical exercises in a group setting.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment will be split between a 2,000-word report (group submission, 20%), individual laboratory book (30 %) based on laboratory and IT practicals and an unseen exam (50%). This will help you appreciate the methods available for routine food analysis and their use and limitations in assessment of food quality. Elements of the assessment include the application of GLP guidelines in a laboratory setting as well as theoretical aspects of food chemistry.

MLOs assessed for component A: KU 1-2, IPSA 1-2, PVA 1

MLOs assessed for component B KU1-2, IPSA 1-2

Your tutors will be looking for, and developing, your ability to investigate and analyse problems. Feedback will be provided during tutorials and practical sessions.


AP0406 - Practical Skills
AP0407 - Biochemistry
AP0410 - Food Science



Module abstract

‘Analytical and Food Chemistry’ is designed to provide you with an understanding of the physicochemical properties of the main food components and their interactions during food manufacturing practices as well as to equip you with the necessary theoretical and practical knowhow that will allow you to determine such components in a laboratory setting in order to assess food quality.

The module is also designed to provide you with knowledge of the main workflows pertinent to Food analysis and insights on how those workflows relate to the relevant Good Laboratory Practice guidance documents and Quality Assurance schemes employed by the industry. Building towards your professional development ‘Analytical and Food Chemistry’ will introduce you to a series of current issues in the field of Food Science through research seminars and group discussions on pertinent topics such as flavour formation, food contaminants and process product interactions.

Course info

UCAS Code BD46

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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