FQD-64306 Food Quality Management Research Principles I


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper3
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. PA Luning
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. EJH Spelt
dr. ir. PA Luning
dr. JLF Hagelaar
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PA Luning
dr. JLF Hagelaar
dr. ir. EJH Spelt

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FQD-20306 Food Quality Management; 
FQD-22306 Food Quality Analysis and Judgement.


Todays’ quality managers in food supply chains and researchers have to deal with the complexity and dynamics of food production systems and management systems of organisations within changing environments. It requires understanding of the main functions in food quality management (i.e. design, control, improvement, assurance and policy and strategy) and the interplay with the technological food production system, and the external business environment. It sets high demands on science-based problem-solving skills of people working in the field of food quality management.
Food Quality Management (FQM) research encompasses the field of analysing and mitigating (solving) complex food quality management issues. It embodies understanding of technological aspects of agri-materials, ingredients and final foods and their food production systems (from stable to table), and how these affect product quality and safety. Moreover, it involves understanding of aspects related to people behaviour, quality management processes, organisational structures, supply chain management, governance (etc.), and how these affect the performance of the FQM functions (design, control etc.) aimed at realising and ensuring food quality.
The research paradigm in food quality management defines food quality as a function of behaviour of both food systems and human systems. This paradigm requires a concurrent analysis of theories from technological sciences and from management and social sciences to obtain a broader insight in the possible causes of the problem and to provide a more comprehensive view on possible solutions or ways to mitigate the FQM issue. This is the so-called techno-managerial approach, which is central in this course.
The research principles course (FQD-64306) builds further on the basic course FQD-20306 and aims at learning how to apply the techno-managerial approach in appreciating, defining and conceptualising complex FQM issues (research skills). Furthermore, the course will deepen knowledge in the domain of food quality management and train students in scientific reporting.
Major topics addressed in this course include:
- research principles in food quality management; techno-managerial approach;
- food quality managements functions and core concepts in food quality management (design, control, improvement, assurance, and policy & strategy);
- complexity of food quality management;
- technological and managerial factors affecting performance of FQM functions and food quality;
- constructing conceptual research framework;
- defining measurable indicators to analyse factors;
- scientific reporting.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse complex problem in food quality management from different perspectives to define a research aim and research questions;
- analyse possible technological and managerial factors contributing to the food quality problem;
- construct a conceptual research framework as basis for structured data collection and analysis;
- comprehend how food quality managements functions affect food quality;
- apply techno-managerial approach and common research skills;
- write a research proposal;- advance critical attitude towards own research skills.


Students will:
-    work in teams on three subsequent assignments. The final report includes all improved assignments and has the format of a research proposal;
-    practice research skills, work on assignments, and present progress in class;
-    give peer feedback on assignment reports and progress presentations of peers;
-    keep a team research notebook;
-    make team action-plans to organise the research work;
-    weekly critically assess own research activities, their contribution to the assignment, and their personal improvement needs;
-    you will write a critical research reflection at the end of the course.


There is no written examination. The final mark composes of the mark for the final team report (80%) and the individual critical reflection report (together 20%). If the mark of the final team report is below 5.5, they have to revise it and submit it in the next period. If the mark of the individual critical reflection report is below 5.5, the student needs to improve the report.


Study book used in FQD-20306: Luning, P.A.; Marcelis, W.J. (2020). Food Quality Management: technological & managerial principles and practices. Wageningen Academic Publishers. We expect that students are familiar with searching literature via the digital library.
Brightspace will provide lecture notes, assignments, detailed course scheme, announcements links to useful articles, supporting documents and materials, and platform for submission of assignments

Compulsory for: MFQFood Quality ManagementMSc4WD
Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScA: Spec. A - Product Design and Ingredient Functionality4WD