CHEM5851 Chemical and Physical Food Hazards

6 points
Not available in 2018UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit provides a detailed discussion of the chemical and physical aspects of food contamination. The focus is on sources of contamination occurring naturally in food, formed during processing or production (veterinary drug residues, pesticides) of food, introduced as food additives or as a consequence of migration from third party sources (taints, packaging, environmental chemicals such as dioxins and PCBs). Safety of genetically engineered foods, risk assessment, food safety policy, management procedures and laboratory techniques are discussed. Allergens and intentional food contamination are also explored. Chemical techniques used to detect, analyse and characterise contaminants are explored in detail. Safety policies and management procedures are introduced.
Students are able to (1) define different types of food contaminants and understand their origins; (2) understand the major classes of drugs used in animal farming and pesticides used in agriculture; (3) describe the physical chemistry background of toxicant formation in food processing; (4) define and identify external sources of contaminants such as packaging and inks; (5) attain good working knowledge of chemical techniques used to detect, analyse and characterise contaminants; (6) recognise contaminant issues and recommend a method of analysis; (7) understand the use, safety and toxicology of common food additives; (8) differentiate food allergy and food sensitivity; and (9) explore future issues in food contamination.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) laboratory reports (30 per cent); (2) an assignment/presentation (20 per cent); (3) case study discussion (10 per cent); and (4) a two-hour competency-based examination (40 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Daniel Franklin
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Food Science (53540)
Advisable prior study:
a compatible undergraduate degree in science
engineering; CHEM5850 Chemistry for Food Science (formerly CHEM8850 Chemistry for Food Science)
Approved quota: 30
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; labs/Practical Classes: 2 hours per week

Watson, D., ed. Food Chemical Safety, vol 1: Contaminants: Woodhead Publishing Limited 2001

Supplementary course material, along with class handouts, is provided in class or on the Web.


Chemical Risks in Food: World Health Organization

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