CHM2962 - Food chemistry - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Chemistry

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Kellie Tuck


Professor Louise Bennett (Clayton)
Dr Siow Lee Fong (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


CHM1022 or CHM1052




A detailed account of the chemistry of food substances will be provided. The components present in larger amounts (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and water), and those occurring in smaller quantities (colours, flavours, vitamins, preservatives, trace metals, both natural and synthetic toxins, and additives) will be discussed. Chemicals used in food production (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides) and the chemistry of food processing, storage and cooking are also discussed. Methods used in food analysis are considered. The chemistry of the digestion of food and the energy provided by food during consumption are included.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explore the chemical structure and functionality for the macronutrient categories of carbohydrates, lipids, and protein in food.
  2. Identify the important role of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and water activity in food.
  3. Formulate the links between food types and dietary energy content.
  4. Investigate the analytical techniques used for verifying food content and quality.
  5. Inspect the chemical changes that occur during the processing, storage and cooking of food.
  6. Design experiments through an inquiry-oriented, food chemistry focused laboratory program.
  7. Communicate via written and visual presentations the findings from a multistage laboratory program.
  8. Debate the benefits and potential drawbacks of genetic modification, organic agriculture, and the use herbicides and pesticides in global food production.


Laboratory-based assessment: 25% (Hurdle)

Science communication assignments: 25%

On line assessment: 25%

Workshop activities: 25%

Hurdle requirement: To pass this unit a student must achieve a minimum score of 50% in the laboratory practical component.

Workload requirements

  • Equivalent to two-hours supported independent study per week
  • One one-hour workshop per week
  • 36 hours of laboratory work and presentation time per semester

See also Unit timetable information

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