Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics


Dr Maxine Bonham



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit provides a strong foundation in supporting students to become experts in the area of food - from the cellular scientific makeup and composition to food microbiology, food regulations and standards coupled with skill based acquisition, exploring the diversity of food and eating practices with an application to nutrition and dietetic practice. Theme 4 (Food from Science to Systems) is the key theme explored in this unit with integration from Theme 1 (Personal Development and Professional Practice) as students extend their skills in cultural competency and communication and the scientific underpinnings from Theme 3 (Nutrition Fundamentals of Health and Disease). In this unit, students will acquire food preparation skills; become familiar with Australia's diverse foods and modify recipes and menus to meet specific nutritional goals. They will also compare food service settings providing food for the general population and to outline the training and skills required for food service staff. Students will gain an appreciation of micro-organisms and the important role they play in food production and in food-borne disease; becoming proficient in risk assessment and safe food handling practices. They will discuss the regulatory system set up in Australia to control food safety, food labelling and food content and gain experience in evaluating the role of science and politics within the regulatory decision-making process.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify foods macronutrient and micronutrient composition from the main food groups and cultures found in Australia and evaluate the impact of globalisation on Australia's food supply.
  2. Demonstrate a basic competence in cooking.
  3. Explain the chemistry of food during its production, processing, cooking and storage and relate this chemistry to food taste, texture, palatability and nutritional value.
  4. Describe the diversity of microorganisms and discuss their relationships in the context of food, nutrition, health and disease.
  5. Exhibit laboratory skills required to culture and identify micro-organisms.
  6. Compare food processing systems and design procedures to promote a safe food supply particularly for food service operations.
  7. Describe the role of the Commonwealth and State governments in Australia in formulating, implementing and enforcing modern food law, including international standards.
  8. Explain the format and content of the Australian Food Standards Code including the FSANZ processes required to ensure a safe Australian food supply.
  9. Outline the fundamental principles of toxicology and risk assessment and their application to the setting of standards and the monitoring and surveillance of a safe food supply.
  10. Critically evaluate regulations relating to food labelling, food composition and food-related claims in Australia and assess compliance across the food supply.
  11. Describe the process of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) in food production and supply and be able to design a HACCP plan.
  12. Develop and apply written and oral communication skills with peers in a supportive environment.
  13. Evaluate practice of self and peers.


Food portfolio (30%)
Assignments (30%)
Exams (40%) (Hurdle)

Hurdle: End of semester exam - MCQ, short answer and essay-style questions.

Workload requirements

24 hours/week including contact hours and private study.
3 x 2 hours lectures/week; one 2 hours practical class or demonstration per week; one 4 hours practical class per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must be enrolled in courses 3404, 4530 or 3956.