NFOK20003U Sustainable Innovation in Food Science

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology


The course aims to provide the students with an understanding of sustainable innovation in the food chain and sector; e.g. gentle food processing technologies and circular business models that result in reduced environmental footprints. The students will be introduced to key aspects regarding:

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), planetary boundaries and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Sustainable innovation and systems design thinking
  • Circular business models designed for reuse and recycling of resources.


The students will be divided into groups and work theoretically with identifying potential solutions to current challenges in the food chain and sector. The student will work in a group on a relevant challenge that is linked to the teaching on a weekly basis. The students will also have to recognize the potential restrictions imposed in "real-life".

Learning Outcome


  • Describe the four steps of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), system boundaries and functional units
  • Describe key concepts concerning sustainable innovation in food systems design
  • Describe concepts within Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) related to the course challenge
  • Describe concepts concerning food legislation of relevance to the course challenge
  • Describe key concepts concerning circular business models.



  • Ability to perform comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) including mass balance calculations
  • Ability to critically reflect on bottlenecks in the implementation of sustainable innovation in the food chain
  • Ability to investigate Intelectual Property Rights (IPR)
  • Ability to evaluate existing business models and opportunities for improvements
  • Ability to identify business expansion opportunities for sustainable innovation in the food chain.



  • Ability to analyse results of a comparative LCA, and reflect on the effect of the environmental performance in the food system after solution implementation
  • Ability to apply and connect theoretical knowledge on LCA, the UN's SDGs and planetary boundaries in the course challenge
  • Interdisciplinary cooperation with other students in groups.

See Absalon for a list of course literature

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

We recommend the students have a Windows based operating system for the LCA calculations.
Lectures, exercises and group work. The student will work in a group on a relevant challenge documented by a portfolio addressing the key aspects of the course.
The course is identical to the discontinued course NFOK20004U Short Thematic Course in Food Science and Technology. Therefore you cannot register for NFOK20003U - Sustainable Innovation in Food Science, if you have already passed NFOK20004U Short Thematic Course in Food Science and Technology.

If you are registered with examination attempts in NFOK20004U Short Thematic Course in Food Science and Technology without having passed the course, you have to use your last examination attempts to pass the exam in NFOK20003U - Sustainable Innovation in Food Science. You have a total of three examination attempts.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 54
  • Preparation
  • 42
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 73
  • Guidance
  • 6
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 minutes
Type of assessment details
Individual oral examination (15 min) without preparation time in the portfolio and the course curriculum. The individual oral examination counts for 100% of the grade.
Exam registration requirements

Approval of all portfolio parts. Portfolio hand-ins are done in groups and consists of multiple parts handed in during the course.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Same as ordinary exam.

Un-passed portfolio parts must be submitted two weeks before the re-examination date. All portfolio parts must be approved for the student to go to the re-exam. Any previously passed portfolio parts will be reused.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome