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Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD3011 Innovation and Design Principles for Foods

Module manager: Dr Mel Holmes

Taught: invalid View Timetable

Pre-requisite qualifications

Completion of year 2 of a BSc programme

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

Computer Aided Design for complex materials such as food products is within the reach of the product designer. This module teaches the basic principles of Comsol Multiphysics using a practical, project oriented approach. Combined unsteady state heat and microwave transfer can be modelled for complex shapes and desktop experiments conducted in order to optimise a design. The student will learn how to use the Comsol Multiphysics modelling environment and apply it to interesting problems and challenges. An example from food is the design of a heating process for a battered chip which combines unsteady state heat transfer with mass transfer computation of the moisture changes in the chip. The student can choose projects which are not necessarily food related, since the approach is quite generic. Whilst challenging and at the cutting edge of computer modelling, three years’ experience of teaching the module to food scientists has shown that students from a wide variety of backgrounds can benefit from and enjoy this module. The learning outcome is the ability to evaluate and use the very latest computer modelling tool, a versatile and valuable skill for anyone interested in working in product and process development.


To introduce principles underlying the analysis of food processing operations and their application to process and product design.

Learning outcomes
To introduce the physical principles underlying the analysis of food processing operations and their application to process design. To become acquainted with an advanced modelling tool capable of supporting design and innovation for new and existing foods.
On completion of this module, students will have:
 Studied steady and unsteady heat transfer by conduction, convection including multilayer problems, microwaves, acoustics, process flow and innovative solutions in food waste, water treatment and the dairy industry.
 Developed skills in the appropriate and selective use of Comsol Multiphysics, including model design, assumptions and support with relevant searching of parameter values and be able to adopt abstract, quantitative, and mathematical understanding of complex problems in food processing operations.
 Prepared and submitted the equivalent of a modelling report in a scientifically acceptable format.

Skills outcomes
Skills in numeracy, computer design tools, design and problem solving.


Steady State heat transfer by conduction convection and radiation. Unsteady State Heat transfer. Mass transfer analysis. Application to sterilisation, heating, freezing and dehydration.

Private study

Directed reading, preparation for examples, computer classes and project, reading for lectures, and preparation and revision for exams.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

From continuous assessment at examples classes and computer classes.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/08/2019


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