FOODSCI 100 : Foundations of Food and Nutrition


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Introduces students to the multifaceted nature of Food Science and Nutrition with a focus on the interplay between food, nutrition and health. Introduce the chemical, biological, sensory, and processing aspects of foods. Societal, economic, legislative and regulatory aspects will also be introduced. Concepts will be illustrated using real food systems with a focus on lipids, water and vitamin C.

Course Overview

The course introduces students to the multifaceted nature of food science and nutrition with a focus on the interplay between food, nutrition and health. Societal, economic, legislative and regulatory aspects will also be introduced. Concepts will be illustrated using real food systems with a focus on fats and oils, water and vitamin C. There are 3 lectures per week and one laboratory per fortnight which are designed to complement the lectures to enhance students’ understanding of the topic.  Lectures have approximately a 50:50 split between Food Science and Nutrition.  The Food topics are delivered by Peter Swedlund from the Faculty of Science while Nutrition topics are delivered by Amy Lovell from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. This is a core course for BSc majoring in Food Science and Nutrition students and is also part of the module “Studies in Food and Health”.  The topics covered in the six blocks include:
  1. Food systems
  2. Fundamentals of nutrition
  3. Carbohydrates
  4. Fats and oils
  5. Water
  6. Introduction to micronutrients
A detailed course description can be obtained by emailing the course coordinators; or .

Course Requirements

Restriction: FOODSCI 201

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain the interdisciplinary nature of Food Science and Nutrition in the context of the analytical approach to science. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Explain the composition and nutritional properties of a variety of foods and apply this to understanding nutrient digestion and metabolism and physiologic systems. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Describe the structure and function of the main food components of lipids, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and water including concepts such as Weende proximate analysis, Atwater Conversion factors and the glycaemic index. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Apply information from foundational sciences as a basis for understanding the behavioural, dietary, and environmental factors of foods and nutrients in heath and disease. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Describe the structure and properties of lipids in foods, food processing and metabolism; including the concepts cis, trans, omega, unsaturated and saturated. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  6. Discuss the behaviour and properties of water in foods as a fundamental determinant of food properties ranging from texture to microbial stability and describe the function of water in the human body. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Use practical skills and chemical techniques in a laboratory setting, following safe laboratory practices and communicate your findings using scientific language. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratory 25% Individual Coursework
Take home quiz 5% Individual Coursework
Tests (x2) 20% Individual Test
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Take home quiz
Tests (x2)
Final Exam


Tuākana support is available and encouraged.  Information about this programme is available at the link below.

Key Topics

  1. Food systems
  2. Fundamentals of nutrition
  3. Carbohydrates
  4. Fats and oils
  5. Water
  6. Introduction to micronutrients

Special Requirements

Attendance at the laboratories is compulsory.  Exceptions will be made in the case of medical certificates or (with prior approval) participation in major sporting or cultural events.
To attend the laboratories students will need safety glasses, an approved laboratory coat and closed toe shoes.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.
For this course, you can expect the following each fortnight;
  1.  5 hours of lectures
  2.  1 hour of tutorial with in class demonstrations
  3.  3 hours in the laboratory
  4. 3 hours preparing a laboratory report
  5. 8 hours reading and thinking about the content, post-class activities, and test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is optional for the lectures and tutorials but is compulsory for the labs. 
Lectures will be available as recordings. The tutorials will be available as recordings but will not capture the full experience such as comparing the aroma of butyric acid and a very ripe camembert.
Attendance on campus is required for the tests and the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable delivery over the 12 weeks of semester.

Learning Resources

There is no prescribed text.
Lecture notes will be provided as pdf files prior to classes and students are advised to print these prior to class to allow for annotation.
Lectures will be recorded for those who are not able to attend. 
Suggested readings and other activities will provided with each block.

The following text is recommended (but not required) for those on the Nutrition pathway and is available in the library;
Whitney E, Rolfes S, Crowe T, Cameron-Smith D, Walsh A. (2019) Understanding Nutrition, Australia and New Zealand 4th edition. Cengage Learning Australia .

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode.
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. The following activities will also have an on campus / in person option: [Lectures, labs, tutorials, office hours, field trips, etc.].
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 01/07/2021 10:53 a.m.