NFOK14031U Thematic Course in Food Innovation and Health

Volume 2015/2016
MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health

The course contains two parts. Initially an intensive three week teaching program that gives overview of concepts and methods used in a scientific approach to small-scale and scalable food production. It also provides concrete actionable competences in innovation, intra- and entrepreneurship in relation to healthy foods. In part two, students work project-based in groups with development, pitching and consumer tests of actual food products. This based on challenges from enterprises or organisations.

The teaching program contains:
Reading and practical experience with classic (e.g. smoke-curing and fermentation) and new (e.g. freeze-drying and sous vide) tools and techniques in the production of food and meals in a gastronomic context. 
The scientific focus is understanding of the chemistry and physics behind the gastronomic preparation methods, and the effect of these methods on the physical, chemical and sensory conditions of food with regard to creating aesthetic, palatable and healthy foods in accordance with nutritional principles of today. 

- Real business cases with development of new food products. 
- Practical exercises in gastronomic techniques. 
- Exercises with and reflection over culinary processes to understand how they contribute to palatability in healthy foods. 
- Gastronomic creativity training: development and production of foods under various constraints (time, materials, economy, techniques) to develop an innovative mind-set, increase students’ gastronomic creativity and promote action-oriented work based on own academic and professional competences.

In the project phase students work independently in groups with a challenge from enterprises or organisations. The problem is analysed in a scientific way and the subject is discussed using competences acquired through the teaching period and the preceding course work in the education. The approach trains students to apply their theoretical, academic background to create new food products using their scientific approach to gastronomy, food chemistry, consumer experience and behaviour.

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to give students knowledge of practical gastronomic production and innovation with a focus on palatability and health in food products as well as in meals.

It is the aim to establish a rational gastronomic foundation and to provide the students with an insight to put their knowledge of gastronomy to practical use and develop techniques and ingredients, in order to renew cooking and create new products. The scientific approach to gastronomy is based on scientific principles and includes deliciousness and health. 

- Experience with ideation and business model generation for developed food products.
- General knowledge of basic operations and tools for gastronomic food production.
- Innovation, intra-, and entrepreneurship in relation to 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. 
- Adapt methods of preparation for different raw materials based on a rational gastronomic foundation.
- Reflect on the nutritional aspects of raw materials and their changes in culinary processes. 
- Pointing out 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.
- Give an overview over aesthetics in relation to food, meals and eating. 

- Use techniques to foster innovation and creativity related to development of new foods.
- Production of prototypes of complex foods, production in pilot scale of complex foods, including demonstration of practical abilities with culinary techniques.
- Consumer tests of complex foods.
- Reflection upon own development, and ability to see opportunities and the potential for students’ professional competences in intra- and entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Work in a gastronomic laboratory with chosen experimental techniques and culinary methods.
- Communicate in writing the topics in the gastronomic area with regard to innovation in foods. 
- Integrate aesthetics in relation to food, meals and eating.
- Communicate gastronomic concepts to professionals and relevant employers/purchasers.

- A scientific approach to food innovation and small scale food production.
- New Product Development of healthy and palatable foods. 
- Integrate academic disciplines (food chemistry, sensory science, and nutrition) to innovation and business development in the food sector.
- Use and adapt techniques for characterization of sensory properties and consumer experiences. 
- Interdisciplinary cooperation with other students on planning, carrying out and evaluating experiments in relation to new product development of healthy and palatable foods. 
- Work independently and efficiently together in a group on joint projects.

McGee, H. (2004) McGee on Food and Cooking - An Encyclopedia Of Kitchen Science, History And Culture. 2nd ed. Hodder & Stoughton (The British publisher)
Or the exact identical, except for cover and title:
McGee, H. (2004) On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. 2nd ed. James Bennett Pty Ltd (The American publisher)

Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. London: Wiley.

Compendium (latest edition). The compendium is available for purchase from Academic Books on Campus.

For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop with Windows based operating system.

It is recommended to follow the course on the second year of the MSc programme in Food Innovation and Health.
The teaching (lectures and exercises) creates an overview and insight into new product development, innovation and entrepreneurship within healthy and palatable foods. The project report takes its starting point in challenges from organisations/​enterprises within the food and health relevant sector and results in three outcomes: a new food product; a project report; and a project presentation.
Students from other educations / MSc programmes that follow the course, should expect an extra workload to familiarise themselves with the necessary parts of the curriculum from the first year of the MSc programme in Food Innovation and Health.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Guidance
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 80
  • Project work
  • 235
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 min
Individual oral examination without preparation time in the project report and the course curriculum. The oral examination weights 100%.
Exam registration requirements
Submission of project report
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Possibility to re-submit project report two weeks before the registration date of the re-examination
Criteria for exam assesment

Fullfilment of the learning outcomes