Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Food Science and Culinary Techniques

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 1
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Karsten Olsen (2-7074456b74746933707a336970)
  • Department of Food Science
Course number: NFOK13004U

Course content

The course includes a series of lectures giving a scientific description of foods as a chemical and physical system. It relates to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates as well as topics within general chemistry (inorganic and organic), acid and bases, and interaction of these components. The course provides an understanding of the culinary techniques used in the production of foods and highlights the effects of food processing on the chemical reactions leading to changes of taste and color as well as the physical properties of the food in relation to changes in structure and functionality.

Practical exercises in preparation of foods will be used as a learning tool to the understanding of culinary techniques. The use of ingredients in various recipes will be evaluated and thereby demonstrate important experimental aspects of food processing and preparation. This will include an introduction to experimental design where recipies and preparations are varied, and the methods of evaluation are identified. Following afterlab discussions will reflect on the outcome of the experiments and correlate it to the scientific principles of exercise.

The lectures and theoretical exercises will demonstrate how food components contributes to the functional properties in dry systems, crystalline states, emulsions, foams and other real food systems. During the practical exercises students will evaluate the different preparations in relation to texture, flavour and color, and explain the outcome according to the theory.

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to use a basic understanding of food chemistry and physics to obtain a scientific approach to gastronomy when various culinary techniques are applied during processing of foods.

A student who has fulfilled the aim of the course should be able to:


  • Describe important chemical reactions and physical changes during processing of foods.
  • Describe carbohydrates, lipids and proteins basic function and characteristics in food and point out the effects of culinary processes on physical, chemical and sensory conditions of food components. 
  • Identify the essential microbiological risks connected with especially low temperature preparation methods and the necessary precautions for handling raw material.
  • Describe the effect of physical processes such as pressure treatment and freeze-drying on the structure of food and how physical treatment can be used for developing gastronomic dishes.
  • Identify factors of relevance for detection, perception and loss of aroma compounds in different solvents.



  • Work in a gastronomic laboratory with specific culinary techniques and follow instructions to obtain a well-defined product.
  • Explain the changes in foods taking place during preparation of food from a chemical and a physical point of view.
  • Predict the outcome of various preparation methods and recipes based on a simple experimental design.
  • Evaluate a complex food and communicate the compositional structure of the product.
  • Evaluate the effect of various culinary techniques on the food structure and flavour.



  • Integrate scientific disciplines (food chemistry and food physics) in planning and evaluation of practical experiments.
  • Cooperation with other students on planning and performing practical exercises including oral evaluation of the theoretical outcome through afterlab discussions at plenary course sessions.

Recommended prerequisites

Students from other educations / MSc programmes that follow the course, should familiarise themselves with the necessary parts of the curriculum from the BSc programme in Food Science & Nutrition. A basic understanding of flavour molecules and flavour perception is required.


It is recommended to follow the course on the first year of the MSc. Programme in Food Innovation and Health

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MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health


Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Local teachers from FOOD.


1 block


Practical exercises may be placed outside the formal course schedule - including Friday afternoons.
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Teaching and learning methods

The teaching use a general understanding of food chemistry and physics in combination with kitchen exercises in a gastronomical laboratory to examine the influence of various processing methods on the food components. The practical exercises set the frame for group-oriented work and will be evaluated by afterlab discussions, problem-based learning and answering questions from the lecturers. Specific practical exercises will be organised as take-home exercises where ingredients and tools will be provided by the course organisers.


60 (app. 30 seats are reserved for the students enrolled at MSc programme in Food Innovation and Health)




See Absalon for specific course literature.


Category Hours
Lectures 36
Theory exercises 32
Practical exercises 24
Preparation 90
Exam 24
English 206


Type of assessment

Written assignment, 24 hours
Individual written assignment which must be completed within 24 hours on specific topics based on the curriculum.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

Cf. Learning Outcome.


Censorship form

No external censorship
More than one internal examiner



If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.


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