FPE-10808 Food Production Chains


Credits 8.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work7
Course coordinator(s)M van Berkum
dr. ir. AEM Janssen
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
dr. L Lin
dr. ir. GDH Claassen
M van Berkum
dr. E Capuano
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
dr. ir. GDH Claassen

Language of instruction:



The course 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 course 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. Moreover, the ability to quantitatively describe and predict how quality attributes change along the food chain is essential to satisfy consumer's expectation and to optimize processes in each unit operation. 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;
- be able 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;
- be able to quantitatively describe the change in quality of food products along the chain and build simple kinetic models for its prediction;

- Integrate knowledge of food processing, food quality, logistics and marketing/consumer behavior.


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


The exam consists of 4 parts which will contribute for to the final grade, FPE for 20%, MCB for 20%, FQD for 15% and ORL for 25%. For each of these marks a minimum pass mark of 4.5 is required. The minimum mark for the case study is 4.5 and the grade of the case study report is valid for 3 years.


A reader will be available in the Study Store in Forum. Additional information will be provided in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc6WD