FNH 200 (3 cr): Exploring Our Food

FNH 200

Course Description

Student Profile

Cristel Moubarak, 3rd year visiting student

Cristel Moubarak

In FNH 200, Cristel has found “personalized interaction between the students and the instructor…[which has been] very helpful because you get to know your classmates on a more personal level – as well as learn from their diverse perspectives.”

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In this course students are introduced to key concepts related to the science of food, including: the Canadian food system; chemical and physical properties of foods; issues pertaining to safety; government regulations; food activities; food preservation techniques and transformation of agricultural commodities into food products; foods of the future.

Upon successful completion of FNH 200: Exploring Our Food, students should have acquired a fundamental understanding of the science and technology as well as regulatory aspects related to food preservation, manufacture and safety. The information learning in the course should provide students with the ability to arrive at an informed position about controversial issues relating to the food that they encounter as consumers in the marketplace, and that they hear about in the media.

Pre-requisite: At least second year standing required.

Intended Student

This is a required course for the Food, Nutrition and Health Program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. It will also be of value to students enrolled at UBC who wish to enhance their life skills. The course will also be of interest to members of the general public who are interested in the science of food.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe tissue-based (both plant and animal) food systems, fluid food systems and various dispersions important to food quality;
  • Describe food processing systems;
  • Develop personal food selection and food handling habits that will minimize your risk of contracting food-borne or water-borne disease;
  • Describe the role of chemical reactions, enzymes and micro-organisms in food spoilage, food preservation and food-borne disease;
  • Describe various types of food processing and packaging systems;
  • Articulate a personal set of values related to your decisions pertaining to selection of food products for both your personal and your family’s consumption;
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the validity of information that commonly appears in newspapers, magazines, radio & television.

Course Overview

There are 13 lessons in this course.

Lesson 1: Food Science & the Canadian Food System
Lesson 2: Chemical and Physical Properties of Food
Lesson 3: Fat & Sugar Substitutes
Lesson 4: Food Standards, Regulations & Guides
Lesson 5: Food Preservation
Lesson 6: Thermal Preservation of Foods
Lesson 7: Low Temperature Food Preservation
Lesson 8: Dehydration for Food Preservation
Lesson 9: Food Preservation with Biotechnology
Lesson 10: Preservation of Food with Ionizing Energy
Lesson 11: Effects of Food Processing on Nutrient Retention
Lesson 12: Toxicants in Food & Foodborne Disease
Lesson 13: Trends in Foods for Nutrition and Health


  • 4 Assignments
  • 4 on-line quizzes
  • Discussion forums
  • Final Exam.

Learning Resources

The materials for this course consist of the FNH 200 website (which contains the course contents, website activities, and assignments). There is no required textbook.

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