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Unit of study_

FOOD3002: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Foods

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The molecular basis of foods is a critical aspect of food science. FOOD3002 investigates the (bio)chemical properties of food constituents, as well as the interactions between these constituents during food processing, storage, cooking and digestion. You will develop an understanding of the relationship between form and functionality of food constituents and the concept of quality in converting agricultural products into foods. You will gain an appreciation of the relationship between chemical composition and properties of macro-constituents (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids) and micro-constituents (vitamins, minerals, flavour and antinutritional chemicals) and their functions in plant- and animal-based foods. FOOD3002 will enable you to develop research and inquiry skills and an analytical approach to understand the (bio)chemistry of foods and food processing. You will gain experience in laboratory techniques used in industry and research for the analysis of a range of food products, as well as developing information literacy and communication skills, through the preparation of written and in-lab assignments, practical reports and the creation of a short video. On completing this unit, you will be able to describe the (bio)chemical properties of food constituents and demonstrate an understanding of the functionality of these constituents in food processing and nutrition.

Unit details and rules

Unit code FOOD3002
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
AGCH3025 or AFNR5102 or AGCH3024
Completion of 72 credit points of units of study
Assumed knowledge

Equivalent to 1st-year Biology plus 2nd-year chemistry/biochemistry: -biology, chemistry, biochemistry -Carbohydrates, proteins (including enzymes), lipids -Principles of cellular metabolism

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Thomas Roberts,
Demonstrator(s) Ali Khoddami,
Shiva Bakhshandeh,
Shahnoosh Hayamanesh,
Valeria Messina,
Lecturer(s) Thomas Roberts,
Claudia Keitel,
Tutor(s) Mafruha Hasan,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
hurdle task
Final exam
Compulsory written exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Small test Water in Foods Quiz
Completed in Canvas. Due Thur 23:59 Week 2 (Odd) or 3 (Even).
6% Week 03
Due date: 09 Mar 2023 at 23:59
12 short and longer-answer questions
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO5
Small test Food Polysaccharides Quiz
Completed in Canvas. Due Thur 23:59 Week 4 (Odd) or 5 (Even).
6% Week 05
Due date: 23 Mar 2023 at 23:59
12 short and longer-answer questions
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO5
Small test Lipids in Foods Quiz
Completed in Canvas. Due Thur 23:59 Week 6 (Odd) or 7 (Even).
6% Week 07
Due date: 06 Apr 2023 at 23:59
12 short and longer-answer questions
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO8 LO6
Assignment Proteins in Foods Poster
Poster due Week 8 for both Odd and Even students.
10% Week 08
Due date: 23 Apr 2023 at 23:59
A3 size
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
Small test Animal Proteins Quiz
Completed in Canvas. Due Thur 23:59 Week 8 (Odd) or 9 (Even).
6% Week 09
Due date: 27 Apr 2023 at 23:59
12 short and longer-answer questions
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO5
Assignment group assignment Phenolics and Antioxidants Lab Report
Written report (in pairs). Due Thur 23:59 Week 12 (Odd) or 13 (Even).
20% Week 13
Due date: 25 May 2023 at 23:59
1200 - 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO8 LO6
Small test Fermentation in Foods Quiz
Completed in Canvas. Due Thur 23:59 Week 12 (Odd) or 13 (Even).
6% Week 13
Due date: 25 May 2023 at 23:59
12 short and longer-answer questions
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO6 LO5
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Practical class tasks: Each of the six practical classes is associated with a Quiz, for which you are required to provide short and longer answers to a set of 12 questions on the FOOD3002 Canvas website. Each Quiz counts 6% towards final assessment. The Practical Report (Phenolics and Antioxidants) contributes 20% and the Poster (Proteins in Foods) contributes 10% to your final unit mark.

The assessment due-date schedule is below. The two alternative dates for each assessment reflect that students do their practical classes in either odd or even weeks (i.e. each student does fortnightly practical classes). Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.





Assessment due


1 or 2

Wed 22/02 or 01/03

Water in Foods


Thur 02/03 or 09/03


3 or 4

Wed 08/03 or 15/03

Food Polysaccharides


Thur 16/03 or 23/03


5 or 6

Wed 22/03 or 29/03

Lipids in Foods


Thur 30/03 or 06/04


7 or 8

Wed 05/04 or 19/04

Proteins in Foods

Quiz + Poster

Thur 20/04 or 27/04 (Quiz) +

Sun 23/04 (Poster)


9 or 10

Wed 26/04 or 03/05

Phenolics and Antioxidants

Practical Report

Thur 11/05 or 18/05


11 or 12

Wed 10/05 or 17/05

Fermentation in Foods


Thur 18/05 or 25/05


  • Final exam: This assessment is compulsory and failure to attend, attempt, or submit will result in the award of an AF grade. If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

See Canvas for a detailed grading tables.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

10% reduction for each day late

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction to food chemistry and biochemistry; 2. Major questions in food chemistry and biochemistry Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Water in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 02 1. Context – the Agri-Food industries; 2. What’s in a food label? Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Water in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 03 1. Food sources: from grains to marsupials; 2. Carbohydrates in foods I Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Food polysaccharides Practical (3 hr) LO5 LO8
Week 04 1. Carbohydrates in foods II; 2. Carbohydrates in foods III Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Food polysaccharides Practical (3 hr) LO5 LO8
Week 05 1. Lipids in foods I; 2. Lipids in foods II Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Lipids in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 06 1. Proteins in foods I; 2. Proteins in foods II Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Lipids in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 07 1. Micronutrients; 2. Food additives Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Animal proteins Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 08 1. Anti-nutritional and toxic constituents of foods I; 2. Anti-nutritional and toxic constituents of foods II Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Animal proteins Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 09 1. Chemistry of flavour Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Phenolics and antioxidants Practical (3 hr) LO5 LO6 LO8
Week 10 1. Cereal-based foods I; 2. Cereal-based foods II Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7
Phenolics and antioxidants Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 11 1. Meat and dairy foods I; 2. Meat and dairy foods II Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7
Fermentation in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 12 1. Meat and dairy foods III; 2. Fermentation in foods I Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7
Fermentation in foods Practical (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 13 1. Fermentation in foods II; Revision lecture Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

To successfully complete FOOD3002, students must obtain an overall mark of at least 50/100, including a mark of at least 40% in both the in-semester assessment component (i.e. 24/60) and the exam component (i.e. 16/40).

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand the industrial context of the chemistry and biochemistry of foods and the major questions that are addressed in this field
  • LO2. Understand food labelling in Australia in terms of the context of the chemistry and biochemistry of foods
  • LO3. Appreciate the range of food sources globally and some of the major contemporary trends that are changing what we eat
  • LO4. Describe the chemistry, biochemistry and processing behaviour of major food constituents: water, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins
  • LO5. Describe the relationship between the molecular structure of constituents and their functionality in foods
  • LO6. Describe the importance of micro-constituents (vitamins, antioxidants; colour and flavour compounds) for the nutritional and sensory quality of foods.
  • LO7. Understand the key aspects of the chemistry and biochemistry of foods for cereal-based foods, meat and dairy foods and fermented foods
  • LO8. Understand and conduct specific laboratory analyses of macro-constituents (water, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins), as well as assays for total phenolics and antioxidants, in foods

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We will explain more clearly the pedagogical aims of the Quizzes and the expectations for student performance in the various assessments.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


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