Food Processing and Technology

Course CodeBSS301
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Why is Food Processed?

  • To exploit a scale of economy that allows the feeding of larger numbers of people for lower costs.
  • To extend life (cold storage, preserving)
  • To make it more transportable (eg. protecting from bruising - packing into boxes)
  • To make it more presentable (sorting, grading, packaging)
  • To have a more desirable product
  • Reduce Health Risks

In this course you will learn to plan and manage food processing on or off farm and produce saleable food products.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Overview -Scope and Nature of Food Processing Industry
    • Introduction
    • Understanding Food Spoilage
    • How Food can be Preserved
  2. The Role of Nutrition in New Product Development
    • Health, Food Development, and Processing
    • Essential Nutrients and Nutrition
    • Other Natural Additives
    • Nutrient Potential Assessment
  3. Chemical Processing, Preservatives, and Additives
    • Defining Processed Foods
    • Additives for Appearance
    • Additives for Taste
    • Food Contact Materials
  4. Thermal Food Processing, Pasteurisation and Microwave Cooking
    • Understanding Microbial Destruction
    • Types of Heating
    • Pasteurisation
    • Reheating Food
    • Heating For Serving
  5. Managing Health Claims and Other Statements
    • Health Claims vs. Nutrition Content Claims
    • Health Claims and Development
    • Warning and Advisory Statements
    • Genetically Modified Foods
  6. Developing New Food Products (including Marketing)
    • Developing the Marketing Concept
    • Consumer Buying Behaviour
    • Stages of Developing a New Food Product
  7. Packaging, Labelling and Storage
    • Choosing Packaging Materials
    • Types of Packing Materials
    • Design Considerations in Packaging
    • Labelling
    • Storage
  8. Legal, Policy and Management
    • How Legal Requirements Impact Food Processing
    • Food Production Management
    • Differences Between Manufacturing and Production
    • Entry of Products into Foreign Markets
  9. Developing a New Product - Problem Based Learning (PBL) Project
    • Working through food product development stages to design your own product

Learn More About The Processing of Different Foods

By gaining a broader and deeper understanding of what happens in the food industry, your awareness and capacity to work across the many and varied parts of this industry will greatly improve.

Grain Processing For Consumption

Grains are eaten in many forms which vary from grain to grain and country to country.  After harvesting, they go therefore go through various processes to produce the desired form including cleaning, heat and moisture treatments and milling among others.

Some grains are eaten as kernels, such as rice or maize, while others are milled into flour or coarse meal, such as wheat, rye, and maize (polenta, corn grits etc.). Most grains can be eaten either way – rice be eaten as a grain or as rice flour, while oats are often husked then flattened (rolled), and used to prepare warm cereals such as porridge (also known as oatmeal) or eaten in bakery products as oat flour.

When grains are harvested from the field, they are coated by several protective layers, which may be removed during processing. Remember that grains are seeds and the outer layer often comprises thin, dry, scaly bracts (glumes, lemmas etc.) which form a dry husk (or hull). 

Husking is the removal the outer seed coat of a grain, leaving the kernel intact. In large scale productions, this often occurs before storage. 
A grain kernel therefore has three parts after the husk is removed:

  • Bran
  • Embryo or germ
  • Endosperm

Once de-husked, the kernel may be used as is (wholegrain or brown), or further refined by removing other parts of the seed such as the bran and embryo leaving just the endosperm which may be polished to produce the finished product (white polished rice), as illustrated in the diagram below for a rice grain. Most rice varieties are composed of roughly 20% rice hull or husk, 11% bran layers, and 69% starchy endosperm. Similar processes are used for other grains like wheat. Specific types of processing are now further discussed for various types of grains.

Grinding /milling of wheat

The wheat kernels can now be milled into flour. This usually involves the gradual reduction of kernel size through grinding using roller mills (corrugated cylinders) with periodic sifting (particles are lifted and then dropped into vibrating boxes with different size screens) and purifiers. Coarse particles are separated out and returned   to the roller mills for further grinding. At the end of the grinding process, the products are:

  • Bran
  • Germ
  • Flour
  • Wheat feed

Bleaching the flour
Toward the end of milling, flour can be bleached (usually by exposure to chlorine gas or benzoyl peroxide). This whitens the flour and improved its baking characteristics. 

  • Blending and final production of flours
  • Blending is used to achieve a consistent flour product of the right grain size and colour.

White flour is produced when the germ and bran are removed, and only the endosperm is milled. Leavening agents and salt can be added to produce self-raising flour.  Brown flour is sometimes made from white flour with fibre and brown colouring added, so nutritionally is not much better than white flour. Wholemeal flour is made by milling the whole kernel and includes germ, bran and endosperm and it is not bleached.  However, these processes and definitions of what constitutes the flour type do vary from country to country. Bread flour (strong flour) is usually made from hard wheat while cake flour is finely milled white flour made from soft wheat.



This is a course that can benefit anyone who works in the production, processing, marketing or preparation of food; for example:

  • Farmers
  • Start up entrepreneurs producing food products on a small scale and selling through markets, local retailers or online mail order.
  • Small enterprises expanding their product range and business reach
  • Students and health professionals
  • Employees of factories, distribution companies, food retailers, restaurants, cafe's or any other businesses involved in producing and supplying food for human consumption.

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