Food Processing and Technology

Study food processing and technology online. Learn how to plan and manage the processing of food on or off farm, to produce marketable food products.

Course CodeBSS301
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Discover how food products are created, from concept through to deployment.

  • Learn how sensory analysis, food trends, and D values affect the development of a new food product.
  • Understand the five stages of food product creation, and how they affect marketing efforts
  • Explore policy, legalities, and the importance of health claims, warnings, and advisory statements
  • Apply your knowledge as you design your own food product with our problem-based learning project



Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Overview -Scope and Nature of Food Processing Industry
    • Introduction
    • Understanding Food Spoilage
    • How Food can be Preserved
  2. The Role of Nutrition in New Product Development
    • Health, Food Development, and Processing
    • Essential Nutrients and Nutrition
    • Other Natural Additives
    • Nutrient Potential Assessment
  3. Chemical Processing, Preservatives, and Additives
    • Defining Processed Foods
    • Additives for Appearance
    • Additives for Taste
    • Food Contact Materials
  4. Thermal Food Processing, Pasteurisation and Microwave Cooking
    • Understanding Microbial Destruction
    • Types of Heating
    • Pasteurisation
    • Reheating Food
    • Heating For Serving
  5. Managing Health Claims and Other Statements
    • Health Claims vs. Nutrition Content Claims
    • Health Claims and Development
    • Warning and Advisory Statements
    • Genetically Modified Foods
  6. Developing New Food Products (including Marketing)
    • Developing the Marketing Concept
    • Consumer Buying Behaviour
    • Stages of Developing a New Food Product
  7. Packaging, Labelling and Storage
    • Choosing Packaging Materials
    • Types of Packing Materials
    • Design Considerations in Packaging
    • Labelling
    • Storage
  8. Legal, Policy and Management
    • How Legal Requirements Impact Food Processing
    • Food Production Management
    • Differences Between Manufacturing and Production
    • Entry of Products into Foreign Markets
  9. Developing a New Product - Problem Based Learning (PBL) Project
    • Working through food product development stages to design your own product

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.


  • Understand where food comes from.
  • Explain spoilage and the effect of microbes on food.
  • Explain the basics of preserving food.
  • Explain the meaning of nutrition density and essential nutrients.
  • Explain the role nutrition has in the development of a new food product.
  • Explain the meaning of processed foods.
  • Explain types of preservatives and their role.
  • Explain the use of common food additives.
  • Explain different ways to process food using heat.
  • Explain different types of health claims and their purpose.
  • Explain warning and advisory statements and their purpose.
  • Understand the effect of health and other claims on the development and marketing of food products.
  • Explain how concepts are determined in conjunction with consumer needs, wants, and trends.
  • Explain the process of developing a new food product from concept to end-product.
  • Explain the options in packaging materials, and the decisions affecting packaging on a food and chemical level.
  • Discuss the importance of labelling, including nutrition labels, warning statements, and allergen statements.
  • Explain the importance of storage in the success of a food product.
  • Explore the legal, policy making and management considerations that impact food processing.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish between unprocessed, minimally processed, and processed food products
  • Explain the difference between a natural preservative and a chemical preservative.
  • Explain how food spoilage by enzymes works.
  • Discuss the importance of essential nutrients.
  • Explain recommended dietary intakes (RDIs).
  • Explain nutrition density and how it affects food product development.
  • Explain the differences between chemical and physical processing.
  • Define pastuerisation and explain why it is important.
  • Explain Z values and their importance.
  • Construct a case study for using a specific health claim for a food product.
  • Explain the difference between warning and advisory statements in your area.
  • Discuss why some localities regulate the use of the word diet and slimming/weight loss claims.
  • Explain how studying consumer behaviour influences development of a new food product.
  • Perform a sensory analysis on a product of your choice.
  • Discuss factors contributing to the shelf life of a product.
  • Explain the difference between manufacturing and production.
  • Design your own food product.


The food industry is a vital part of the world’s economy. Food products are necessary to life, and advancements in food technology can improve nutrient density and delivery, lower cost, and provide nourishment to communities all over the world.

Food is generally divided into two categories – processed or preserved, and fresh. While there development processes for fresh food, such as the development of new fruit strains, a significant amount of new food development is in the processed and packaged space. Sometimes, this is as simple as repackaging a fresh food, such as offering green beans in a ready-to-cook format. More often, though, it’s developing a more complex processed or packaged product that meets a consumer need. 
New product development is an important part of any food business, from a small family business through to large corporations.
Without products – and new products – to bring to market, business growth is more likely to stagnate. Most companies use a staged approach to product development. 

Being informed and knowledgeable about how to produce new products is just as crucial as is creating products that have market value. This course provides a foundation for developing those new products better, and minimising all types of risks along the way from product quality risks to health and business risks.

Developing new food products is a complex process: it spans a variety of areas, including scientific research, marketing and design, and policy. This course will help:
  • people considering a new product, from a corporate or farm-fresh perspective
  • those wanting to improve their knowledge of where food comes from, and how it is made, to make better wellness decisions
  • people working at the cross-section of hospitality and food



This is a course that can benefit anyone who works in the production, processing, marketing or preparation of food; for example:

  • farmers who wish to value add to their produce through initiatives such as on-farm production of preserves, innovative branding and packaging, etc.
  • start up entrepreneurs producing food products on a small scale, perhaps selling through markets, local retailers or online mail order.
  • developing small enterprises, expanding their product range and business reach
  • students of agriculture, crop production, aquaculture, human nutrition, cooking, hospitality or related disciplines; as part of a certificate
  • food coaches, nutrition and health professionals
  • employees of factories, distribution companies, food retailers, catering services, restaurants, cafe's or any other businesses involved in producing and supplying food for human consumption.

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Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Melissa Leistra

B.Ed. M. Human Nutrition
Kieran McCartney

MA Dist.Ed, MSc Sport Sciences, BA, Dip Mgt
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