Graduate Certificate in Food Science
What will I study?
The Graduate Certificate in Food Science is aimed at students who are interested in focusing their further study on food science and its applications in the food and associated industries.
This course consists of four subjects (50 credit points), and is equivalent to the first or second semester of the Graduate Diploma in Food Science or the Master of Food Science.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this certificate.
- Food Processing12.5
Preservation techniques (physical, chemical and biological) and applications, including reference to legal requirements, and processing operations (including the principles of the process, factors influencing the selection of equipment and the effect on the food and food components) selected from the following:
- Factory services
- Separation and clarification
- Mixing and blending
- Membrane processing
- Diffusion techniques
- Emerging technologies
- Food Microbiology12.5
The aim of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of Food Microbiology. The content includes:
- Overview of important microorganisms in foods
- Microbial metabolism
- Nature of microbial growth in food
- Action of microorganisms on food components
- Predictive microbiology
- Microorganisms of importance for the food industry
- Microorganisms of potential food safety concern
- Genetically modified microorganisms
This subject is supported by a practical laboratory program, which emphasises modern and instrumental microbiological techniques.
- Food Safety and Quality12.5
Food Safety and Quality
- Quality management and international and national quality management standards
- What are customers’ expectations of food?
- Probability and sampling
- Statistical Process Control
- Microbial Factors in Food Quality
- Risk Analysis and Management
- Quantitative risk assessment
- Regulatory requirements The Food Safety Code, Codex Alimentarius
- Global food safety initiative and industry schemes
- Performance measures and benchmarking
- Role of internal and external auditing
- Food Safety Management systems
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and food safety risks
- Quality Auditing and improvement.
- Costs of quality failures
- Food allergen management
- Food Chemistry12.5
The aim of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of the chemical structure of important food components of plant origin. The chemical and biological properties of these components are also explored.
This course is supported by a practical laboratory program, which emphasises analytical and instrumental techniques.
- Sensory Evaluation12.5
Sensory evaluation is a scientific method used to evoke, measure, analyse, and interpret those responses to food products as perceived through the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Sensory evaluation guides development and commercial strategy within the food industry. It plays a critical role steering decisions throughout the product development process, in food formulation, in quality control of food products, and in the innovation of healthier food products with improved taste. It can also provide vital insights into fundamental human behaviour and perception. Sensory evaluation can be broken down into four major methods which will be covered in detail in this course: Trained panel testing, discrimination testing, rapid profiling, and consumer testing. The course will also examine how sensory perception is influenced by both physiological and psychological factors. Furthermore, the course will address how food scientists can use techniques in food formulation to optimise the sensory properties of food, and how different forms of sensory data can be processed to draw appropriate conclusions (including statistical tools for sensory analysis). The subject is supported by practical laboratories.
- Food Biotechnology12.5
- Principles of Molecular Biology
- Applications of molecular biology techniques in plants, animals and micro-organisms
- Applications of molecular analytical techniques to the food industry
- Detection and extraction of value added products from foods
- Regulatory, environmental, safety and ethical issues related to the application of biotechnology in the food industry
- Industrial Fermentations
- Human Resource Management12.5
Human Resource Management
Managers in both small-medium enterprises and larger organisations require an understanding of the strategic and operational role of human resource management (HRM). It has long been recognised that the effective deployment and development of human resources constitutes one of the key areas of competitive advantage for modern organisations.
The subject introduces principles of strategic HRM for organisations and evaluates models and approaches for the performance of key HRM functions applicable to a large range of agri-food and agri-business organisations across value chains (e.g. farms, processors, professional services, government, R&D organisations). Topics include: human resources planning; job analysis and design; recruitment and selection; managing diversity and work-life balance; performance management; remuneration and reward; training and skills development; industrial relations and workplace health and safety; human resources leadership.
The subject builds on the Leadership subject (NRMT90017) in identifying the contribution of HRM to organisational development and organisational effectiveness.
- Current Issues in Dairy Science12.5
Current Issues in Dairy Science
This subject introduces students to the current status of knowledge and the latest research concepts and directions in dairy production and milk processing through advances in the areas of genetics of Bos taurus and related species, cow reproduction and nutrition, dairy chemistry and microbiology, processing technology, and milk-based functional foods.
- Securing Sufficient and Healthy Food12.5
Securing Sufficient and Healthy Food
Food security is defined by the World Health Organization as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. This is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain in all global sectors with increased population, trade restrictions and the effects of pests and diseases on quality and yield. These factors are compounded by predicted reduced availability of resources such as energy (oil) and fertilizer (phosphorous), and climate challenges. The food that is produced must also be free from pathogens or secondary compounds that affect human or livestock health. This subject will explore the causes of food insecurity and mitigation strategies to secure food at the local and global levels by farmers (producers), politicians, scientists and non-government organizations alike, with a strong focus on the biological and applied production issues.
Topics will include:
- Definitions and causes of food insecurity
- Risks to food security from the environment and current production systems
- Socio-political and cultural reasons behind food crises and lack of access to adequate food
- Securing food locally through rescue and redistribution, and reduced food wastage
- Health risks from food chain contamination
- Major plant and animal-borne diseases that impact food security and their accurate diagnosis
- Impacts of resource utilisation and genetic modifications on the food chain and the environment
- Quarantine measures and impacts for securing food quality and quantity
- Challenges of securing food in a changing climate and adaptations that can address this.
- The Politics of Food12.5
The Politics of Food
This subject examines the politics of the global food system, and will focus on the policies, structures, power relations and political debates surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food. The impacts of food production and consumption on food security, health, the environment, animal welfare, and the livelihoods of producers, will be critically explored. Key theoretical frameworks and concepts for understanding the dominant paradigms and dynamics of the food system will be discussed and evaluated. Integrated policies and strategies for creating more sustainable and equitable food systems, and alternative paradigms and practices of production, distribution and consumption, will also be critically examined. This subject will primarily draw on theories and methodologies from the sociology and politics of food and agriculture, food policy, and the political economy and political ecology of food.
The topics and debates covered include:
- Food policy and governance at the global, national and local levels
- Food security, food sovereignty and the Global Food Crisis
- Global trading relations, free trade and fair trade
- Environmental impacts and sustainable forms of food production and consumption
- Animal production, factory farms and animal welfare
- Supermarkets and alternative retailing and distribution networks
- Agricultural paradigms and technologies: chemical-industrial agriculture, genetically modified foods, organic agriculture and agroecology
- Corporate concentration within and across sectors of the food system
- Competition for food and land: animal feed, biofuels and land-grabbing
- Food processing, food marketing, dietary advice and health
- Local and urban food production and planning
- Alternative paradigms and networks of food production, distribution and consumption
- Climate Change:Agric.Impacts&Adaptation12.5
Global food production is facing many challenges to meet current and future demand. Impacts of climate change on agriculture will add stress to our ability to produce enough food for a growing population with fewer resources. Adapting agriculture to climate change to meet these needs is a critical challenge for current and future generations.
This subject will examine the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production and explore adaptation options within various sectors of agriculture and food production. This exploration of adaptation options will include consideration of barriers that may hinder effective adaptation..
- Health Aspects in Functional Foods12.5
Health Aspects in Functional Foods
This subject provides an overview of the value of functional foods in health and nutrition.
Lectures and practical exercises in the core theories and methodology of functional food science will provide students with demonstrable knowledge of evaluating the literature, participating in academic discourse and understanding functional foods research in the agriculture and food production fields.
- Agribusiness Management Economics12.5
Agribusiness Management Economics
An understanding of the applications of managerial economic theory to solving real world problems is integral to sound business decision-making. Through this subject students will gain an understanding of and ability to apply, key management economic concepts and principles. They will also experience the application of management economics to Australian agribusiness problems through case studies. Students will become familiar with concepts of market equilibrium, demand, supply, theory of the firm, market structure, trade and the impact of government regulation.
- Plant Food Products12.5
Plant Food Products
The food we eat plays a significant role in human well-being in order to keep pace with a fast-moving society. Cooking from raw materials on a daily basis at the household level in order to meet the human dietary requirements of nutritious and healthy food is far from reality; for this reason the food industry has grown to be one of the largest industries in the world.
In order to meet the food demands of an ever-increasing human population and nutritional composition of raw food materials, the need for food professionals who understand the science behind the sustainable processing and supply of food along with the right balance of nutrition and food safety has never been greater.
This subject will provide students with an advanced understanding of the processing and preservation of grain, fruit and vegetable produce into food products through an integrated approach of science and technology. Students will study and connect with the origin of plant-based food produce, the original chemical and nutritional composition, food technology, changes in the nutritional profile during processing and preservation, and future changes to the food industry.
Students will understand the deep connection between food and processing at national and international level; the science behind processing and the quality maintenance of the processed products. Students will develop skills in critical-thinking, analysing and applying interactions of chemical compositions of plant produce and applied technology to achieve desired processed food products; understanding the international food market through practical exercises; industry visits; discussion; written review and examination.
The subject will include topics such as:
- The variety of plant-based produce, the chemical and nutritional composition of plant-based produce
- Pre-processing handling of plant produce
- Cereal and legumes processing technology
- Fruit and vegetable processing technology
- Quality assurance
- The future challenge of producing and processing sufficient and quality food
- Meat and Meat Products12.5
Meat and Meat Products
This subject will cover the following topics; meat production in Australia, microscopic and macroscopic structure of meat muscle, components of meat, interrelationships and surface chemistry, meat processing (role of non-meat functional ingredients, inhibition of microbial growth, fermentation of meat, prefabricated meat processing, packaging and storage conditions), factors influencing quality of product from farm to plate, meat microbiology, co-products and by-products from meat animals, regulatory framework and current and future developments in products and processes.
- Nutrition Politics and Policy12.5
Nutrition Politics and Policy
This subject critically examines the scientific, policy and political debates regarding the relationship between food, nutrition and health. The social, economic, commercial, scientific and regulatory processes and structures that shape food consumption patterns, the nutritional quality of foods, and the dietary health of the population will be explored. This includes an evaluation of governments’ food, agricultural and nutrition policies.
- The science and politics of formulating dietary guidelines, nutritional reductionism in nutrition research, and debates over definitions of healthy and unhealthy foods
- Changing dietary patterns, the nutrition transition, food security, the “obesity epidemic”, and other health outcomes
- The socio-economic, commercial and environmental influences on food choices and dietary patterns
- The production, nutritional quality, marketing and consumption of highly processed foods and beverages
- Food industry strategies for food reformulation, and the development and marketing of fortified and functional foods
- Food labelling, and nutrient and health claims regulations
- The use of nutritionally-enhanced crops and fortified micronutrient deficiencies
- Dietary guidelines and choices to create ecologically sustainable food systems
- Policy approaches to regulating food quality, food consumption, food marketing, and food industry practices.
The subject will draw upon the disciplines of the sociology and politics of food systems, food and nutrition policy, public health nutrition and public health, and will consider Australian and international case studies.
- Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice12.5
Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice
This subject critically examines the policies, practices and challenges of creating more environmentally sustainable systems of food production, distribution and consumption. The resource dependence and environmental issues associated with existing food systems will be reviewed, including climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, oil dependency, and chemical pollution and animal welfare issues. Current and proposed practices and integrated policy solutions for creating more sustainable and less resource-dependent systems of production distribution and consumption will be explored and compared. These initiatives will be placed in the context of a rising global demand for food and shifting dietary patterns. Government policies and regulations will be examined, and the contributions of food producers, corporations, consumers and NGOs in driving change will be analysed.
Subject topics include:
- Sustainable food system policies and planning
- Sustainable agricultural practices
- Sustainable intensification: from high-tech innovations and efficiencies to low-input practices
- Sustainable livestock production and consumption
- Farm animal welfare regulations and labelling
- Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
- The environmental impacts of food distribution, food miles, food manufacturing and convenience food production and packaging
- Food waste across the supply chain: structural causes and remedies
- Food standards, certification and labelling of sustainably and ethically sourced foods
- Sustainable food consumption practices
- Sustainable Food Production12.5
Sustainable Food Production
Currently, there is more than sufficient food produced on a global scale to feed the population. This has been an upward trend throughout agricultural history, whereby humans have altered their cultivation habits to produce more. However, the continued rise in productivity is unlikely to continue under current systems within which resources are finite. The full impacts of this on a global scale are yet to be experienced by much of the population, largely in developed areas, although viability has dropped in many food producing systems due to increases in input costs of fuel, water, fertilizers and pest and disease control. Meanwhile, at the regional scale, food production systems are already found to be unsustainable with dropping productivity in previously fertile and highly productive areas. The reasons for the production declines are varied and complex, ranging from climate impacts to unsustainable cultivation methods leading to land degradation, reduced fertility and biodiversity required for healthy ecosystems. This subject will explore the biological issues contributing to the reduction of productivity we are currently observing in these fragile agricultural systems and explore the future issues that are likely to impact on systems thought to currently be more stable. We will thereby understand the components that contribute to sustainable food productivity and learn which of these are most unsustainable and will require future investment in systems change to maintain productivity.
- Global Environment and Sustainability12.5
Global Environment and Sustainability
Modernization has led to development pressures that have increasingly disrupted natural systems leading to widespread concerns about the long-term viability of important environmental services, including those critical to food security worldwide. Case studies in topical areas of environment and food production systems are used to explore interrelationships among social, economic, and environmental factors basic to sustainable development.
The case studies vary between years but have included:
- Traditional knowledge
- Genetically modified foods and food sovereignty
- Land grabs
- Global warming and climate change
- Water quality and quantity
- Global responsibility
The student will participate in global classroom discussions and debates with students from Costa Rica, Honduras, China and the USA. This interaction is facilitated by local classroom discussions, postings to discussion forums and live interactive videoconferences (interactive seminars). The subject challenges the student to develop a clear understanding of sustainability from both a regional and a global context.