SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMF123540
Module Leader Moyra McNaughtan
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Chemical Science
  • A (September start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Good honours degree in a relevant discipline

Summary of Content

The module is concerned with developing the students theoretical and practical understanding of chemical and instrumental methods of analysis applied to the determination of major and minor components of foods.


CHEMICAL ANALYSIS Kjeldahl determination of nitrogen (and hence protein), Soxhlet extraction, quantification of fats, Karl Fischer determination of water, enzyme determination of carbohydrates. CHROMATOGRAPHY Explaining chromatographic separations: -358b7 Principles of chemical separation. b7 Parameters describing retention, resolution and selectivity. b7 The separation process and column efficiency. b7 Gas Chromatography: -358b7 Instrumentation: carrier gases; sample injection systems; columns; stationary phases, oven temperature programming versus isothermal; detectors (FID, NPD, ECD) -operation and applications. b7 Separation of fatty acid methyl esters. b7 Introduction to GC mass spectrometry. High performance liquid chromatography: -358b7 HPLC modes of separation: normal phase, reversed phase, ion exchange and size exclusion. b7 Instrumentation: sample introduction; methods; pumping systems; isocratic and gradient elution; detectors (UV, RI, PAD) - operations and applications. Spectroscopy -358b7 UV/visible, fluorescence b7 Atomic absorption, flame and graphite furnace atomisation, optics and instrumentation, background correction interferences. b7 Plasma spectrometry: detection of elements by optical and mass spectrometry, sequential and simultaneous determinations Practical applications of analytical techniques to a variety of major and minor components of food types. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to: 1. chemical analysis of components of food (moisture, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins);2. chromatographic techniques and the application of these techniques to the separation and analysis of multi-component samples; 3. atomic spectrometry and its application to mineral analysis; 4. molecular spectrometric procedures for the assay of organic and inorganic species;5. practical chemical analysis of a range of sample types, presentation of results and reporting.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be taught by an integrated package of lectures reinforced by practical work and tutorials. Students will study and solve real world analytical problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. Students will take part in practical laboratory work which will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. Use of state of the art equipment will enhance their employability. Through the use of the managed learning environment GCU Learn, students will become more engaged, flexible and independent in their learning as there will be a wide range of learning resources available on line. In addition to the core module content, links to relevant external application notes and videos from sources around the world will be made available. Students will receive individualised feedback on their performance through one-to-one contact with tutors at tutorials and through the timely return of marked coursework, which will reinforce the students' learning.

Indicative Reading

1. Instrumental Analysis Principles, D. Skoog, S.R. Crouch & F.J. Holler, Brooks/Cole, 6th Edition, 2006, ISBN 0495125709 2. Quantitative Chemical Analysis, D.C. Harris, W.H. Freeman, 8th Edition, 2010, ISBN 1429239891 3. Analytical Chemistry, S. P. J. Higson, Oxford University Press, 1st Edition, 2003, ISBN 0-19-850289-3 4. Pearson's Composition and Analysis of Foods, R.S. Kirk, Longman, 9th Edition, 1991, ISBN 0582409101 5. Food Analysis, S. S. Neilson, Springer, 4th Edition, 2010, ISBN 1441914773

Transferrable Skills

The coursework will develop logistic and problem-solving skills and involve the candidate being able to explain the theoretical basis of a number of analytical techniques. Coursework exercises will require IT skills in presentation and in literature searching in combination with practical expertise, along with peer group interaction.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 18.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 30.00
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 4.00 40.00 45% Laboratory Portfolio Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 45% Unseen exam choice of 3 questions from 5. 20 marks each (outcomes 1,2,3, 4 &5)