FPE-10808 Food Production Chains


Credits 8.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work7
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
dr. PTM Ingenbleek
dr. ir. GDH Claassen
dr. E Capuano
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
dr. ir. GDH Claassen

Language of instruction:



The food production chain deals with many steps that are necessary while going from agricultural raw materials to food products in the supermarket or other stores. The food production chain includes aspects from processing, distribution, consumer purchase and consumer use. This broad range of aspects will be covered in this course.
In the food production process steps are taken to extend the shelf life of food, to increase the variety in the diet and/or to provide the nutrients required for health. It is essential to understand the various steps during food processing. Usually these steps, or better called unit operations, are connected to each other and they have a specific and predictable effect on a food. A full understanding of food production chains requires insights in different disciplines, including a conceptual understanding of the chain and quantitative insight in its key processes.
The application of mass and energy balances is a first step to obtain quantitative information on the process. In the food production chain, distribution of the food product or food logistic management plays an important role. It is essential that a product will be in the right quantity at the right place in the right time. Ultimately, food product chains are designed to deliver (superior) value to end consumers, who pay for the product in return. Consumers are therefore not only the 'end' of the chain, but in many ways also its 'beginning' . In the course we will learn how consumers make decisions for food products and what implications this has for the design and management of supply chains.
Sustainable production of food is a big issue nowadays. For this reason attention will be paid to sustainability e.g. treatment of waste during food processing. Food production chains that will be discussed are production of chocolate, tea, soya, milk products, sugar etc.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify various production processes in food technology;
- recognizes several basic processes in the food production chain and know the reason why the various steps in the production process are present;
- to calculate various parameters in simple process designs;
- recognise and classify situations in which typical decision problems occur in food supply chains;
- analyse the description of a decision problem and formulate a quantitative model to optimize i.e. support decision making in (food) production chains;
- demonstrate a basic understanding of the role of the consumer in food production chains and how this translates to supply chain management.


The course consists of lectures, working classes and a case study on a food production chain, taking into account all aspects that are treated during this course.


The final grade is based on a written exam with open questions and the result of the case study.
The course consists of 4 parts (FPE, MCB, ORL, FQD) which will each contribute for 20% to the final mark.
The result of the case study also counts for 20%. You will end up with 5 marks, which equally contribute to the final mark. You will not pass the course if one of these marks is below 4.0.


A reader will be available in the WUR-shop.
Additional information will be provided through blackboard.

Compulsory for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc6WD
Restricted Optional for: BLSBachelor Orientation year Life SciencesBSc6WD