From UBC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
FOOD 531 (6 credits) – Master of Food Science Food Practicum Project
FOOD 531
Section: TBA
Instructor: Practicum Coordinator, MFS Program:
Mira Laza, MSc (604-822-0532)
Academic Director, MFS Program:
Dr. Jerzy Zawistowski (604-822-9449)
Phone: 604-822-0532
Office Hours:
Class Schedule:

Course Objective

This is a capstone course for the professional Master of Food Science (MFS) degree. This course provides a means of integrating various theoretical aspects of food production, regulation, and marketing covered in other courses required for the degree, offering students the opportunity to gain practical experience in an area that will be relevant to their future employment.
The practicum term spans 14 weeks, from May through August, and requires that students spend at least 20 hours per week on-site (during regular business hours) working on their projects.

Course Description

Each practicum project is individual. Students will address a hands-on technical problem, by performing background literature research, experimentation, and data interpretation. The project outcome will be presented as an individual written report, which will be made available to the industry sponsor.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply principles of product development, production, food processing, food analysis, food safety, food regulations and/or marketing, as required by the project
  • Critically evaluate scientific literature
  • Show a depth of understanding, appropriate to a graduate student, in the areas relevant to the project
  • Design and conduct experiments and perform appropriate statistical analysis of data
  • Communicate scientific data effectively using oral and written skills.

Course Organization and Delivery

Each student will be assigned an appropriate project relevant to the practicum sponsor. The project may involve product formulation, process development, quality assurance, analysis of chemical, physical, nutritional or sensory properties, food marketing, food regulation, consumer perceptions, or other aspect of food science/technology judged relevant to the goals of the course by the practicum coordinator, and the academic director.
Students will work with an experienced Food Science faculty member, which will act as academic supervisor. At the same time, the practicum sponsor will act as the students’ industry supervisor. The work performed by the student will ideally provide experience in working on a multi-faceted problem of current interest to industry in Canada or internationally. It will involve formulating the problem, searching the literature, developing detailed methodology, carrying out the technical work, analyzing results, and presenting reports.
The final written report will be made available to the industry supervisor, after the corrected version is approved by the academic supervisor.
Students are encouraged to suggest projects themselves, involving companies, institutions, or government agencies that coincide with their own interests or career goals. The MFS practicum coordinator will consider all such opportunities that meet the requirements of the course.

Responsibilities of the Academic Supervisor and Industry Supervisor

  • Providing guidance on experimental design, data analysis, and presentation of the results
  • Providing a suitable working environment for the student, which includes access to the industrial site, pilot plant or laboratory, depending on the project
  • Providing access to equipment and supplies, as needed
  • Scheduling of regular/weekly meetings with the student
  • Giving feedback on the project proposal draft in a timely manner
  • Evaluating the student’s work performance and written reports
Note: the role of the academic supervisor in the written report should be restricted to:
  • Providing general recommendations regarding structure, development, and progression of ideas;
  • Providing advice on the general format of the report according to the guidelines and the use of correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure
  • The involvement of the academic supervisor should be limited to the first draft of any written proposal/report.

Responsibilities of the Student

  • Allocating appropriate time to this course between May 1 and August 15
  • Strictly adhering to deadlines and guidelines for the course, as stated in this document and arranged with the supervisors
  • Working diligently under the guidance of industry and academic supervisors
  • Keeping a daily activity notebook, in a prescribed format as described in Appendix 1
  • Submitting copies of the project proposal, progress report and final report to the academic supervisor, as per guidelines below

Suggested Timelines

  • Week 1: Introduction to the course, industry supervisor and academic supervisor; definition of the research problem
  • Week 2: Development of the scope of the project and background research by students; approval of the project proposal by both academic and industry supervisors; laboratory safety orientation (if applicable)
  • Week 3 - 11: Data collection, submission of progress report
  • Week 11 - 13: Data analysis and preparation of final report; if necessary, submission of first draft of final report to academic supervisor for feedback
  • Week 15, August 15: Individual final report due to be handed to faculty supervisor

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated on pass/fail basis. However, the percentage system will be used internally to evaluate the students on each component of the practicum and for categorizing the evaluation into ‘Pass’ and ‘Pass with Honours’.

Item Percent
Project Proposal 10
Work Performance 10
Progress Report 10
Final Report 70

Students are required to gain the minimum of 68% in order to ‘Pass’ (P) the course. ‘Fail’ (F) is considered to be lower than 68%. Students who gain the minimum of 85% will be granted ‘Pass with Honours’ (H).

The evaluation will be conducted by the academic supervisor with input from the industry supervisor, based on the overall organization and conduct of the student during the project, as well as the quality of the final report.

An example of an evaluation is given below. However, the academic supervisor may modify this scheme:

Goal Setting Proposal - 10%

  • Submission date: May 15
  • To be completed by the student as per guidelines below, and evaluated by the academic supervisor, before being submitted to the industry supervisor (see Appendix 2)

Work Performance Evaluation Forms – 10% (5% each)

  • Submission dates: June 30 and August 15
  • Two evaluation forms to be completed by the industry supervisor who assesses the student’s ability to handle the research project based on:
  • Technical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Initiative

(See Appendix 3)

NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the Work Performance Evaluation Forms are submitted to the practicum coordinator by the deadlines above.

Progress Report – 10%

  • Submission Date: June 30
  • To be completed by the student as per guidelines below, and evaluated by the academic supervisor, before being submitted to the industry supervisor

Final Report – 70%

  • Submission Date: August 15
  • A written report prepared by the student as per guidelines below (see Appendix 4 for title page requirements)

Guidelines for Students

Goal Setting Proposal

This brief (one or two pages) project proposal should state or explain the student’s understanding of:

  • The hypothesis and objectives of the project (the idea that is being tested and the approach)
  • The significance of the project (why it is of interest or importance to the food industry?)
  • The specific research/technical aims to conduct the project (the general procedure and its feasibility)
  • The time frame for the work (the steps or progress expected to be completed each month)
  • The potential problems or difficulties that might be encountered in the project

In maximum two pages, students should provide the following:

  • Project Description (20%) - A general description of practicum project and research to be performed, include references where applicable.
  • Technical Goals (20%) - A list of goals/expected primary learning outcomes the student expects to gain during this work term. The student should also identify expected results and success criteria and how this work can contribute to the success of the industry.
  • Planning and Approaches (30%) - Methods or techniques to be applied and target completion dates (schedule).
  • Potential Issues (5%) – any comments or concerns regarding any reason that might affect the project in a negative way.
  • References (5%) - a listing of all literature cited in the document following the format used in the Journal of Food Science.

The proposal should be written in a concise and organized manner free from grammatical errors and typos. The language and structural aspects of the report will be worth up to 20% of the proposal grade.

Progress Report

This brief (one or two pages) progress report should state:

  • Major accomplishments in the work (20%)
  • Major problem(s), if any, in the project (20%)
  • Significant change(s), if any, in the aim or approach for the project (20%)
  • Remaining experiments that you expect to complete before writing up the final project report (20%)

The language and structural aspects of the report will be worth up to 20% of the proposal grade.

Final Report

The following items are suggestions regarding general report writing. For any more details or questions related to certain specific items, the academic supervisor should be consulted.

Each report should contain, in the order given, the following sections:

  • Title page - This page contains the title, author’s name, the statement: “A practicum report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Food Science”, and the date (see Appendix 5).
  • Abstract (5%) - This is a condensation of the contents of the report, usually 200 words or less, presenting the most significant information in the document. It serves as a quick reference to determine if the report contains specific information that a reader may be looking for. No abbreviation should be used in this section.
  • Table of Contents - This should list all major headings and subheadings accompanied by the pages on which they are found
  • List of Tables - List the table number, caption and page on which it is found.
  • List of Figures - List the figure number, caption and page on which it is found.
  • Acknowledgements - This section expresses thanks and appreciation to individuals, institutions or organizations that were particularly helpful in the carrying out of the practicum work. This section is optional.
  • Introduction, Statement of Objectives (10%) - The introduction outlines to the reader the report subject and importance, presents the specific problem of the practicum project and indicates the nature of the investigation carried out. It should also provide a clear outline of the hypotheses, rationale, objectives, and specific goals of the project.
  • Literature Review (15%) - This section generally outlines or discusses findings reported by others in books and journals, relating to and leading to the proposed investigation as related in the report.
  • Materials and Methods (10%) - This section should describe the experimental procedures employed, newly developed methods, citation of appropriate references for methods not performed by the students themselves, sources of materials and chemicals used, the equipment and facilities used, and methods/software used for data analysis, in a manner which would allow others to duplicate the work.
  • Results & Discussion (30%) - This section presents data solely generated by the student during the practicum project, as well as the interpretation of the findings. The experimental data should be presented using figures and/or tables, in a manner that is commonly used in food science publications. Statistical significance of data should also be included. The tables and figures should follow the format used in the Journal of Food Science. The experimental results and observations should be described logically, and compared to similar data available in the literature. The student should demonstrate critical analysis of results and comprehension of the subject area.
  • Conclusion and Recommendations (5%) - This section reports the conclusions reached on the basis of evidence presented in the discussion. Recommendations shall also be given based on the results of the work performed.
  • References (5%) - This section should include a listing of all literature cited in the report. The format to be used for citing in the body of the manuscript, and listing this information at the end in the references section should follow the format used in the Journal of Food Science.
  • Appendix - Appendices are repositories for details that must be recorded because they may be needed, but would slow the reader down unnecessarily if placed in the body of the report. Appendix materials must be referred to in the body of the report. Calculations, detailed analyses and test figures are typical material that would be placed in this section.

The report should be written in a concise and organized manner free from grammatical and typographical errors. The language and structural aspects of the report will be worth up to 20% of the report grade.
The final report should be submitted in electronic form and/or hard copy to the faculty supervisor. After corrections, the report should be forwarded to the industry supervisor. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the specific format of the final report with their supervisors. Should a hard copy be requested, the report will have to be printed on good quality bond paper, and bound in suitable binders such as Duo-tang, Acco-press binder, or coil bound.

Appendix 1

Daily Activity Notebook

All students are required to have a daily activity notebook (bound notebook with numbered pages) prior to starting their actual project. All daily activities should be recorded in the notebook with the appropriate date and all the necessary details.

  • Each day the student should document the following:
  • Date
  • Title of the experiment/activity
  • Objectives of the activity
  • Materials (for details consult the Journal of Food Science)
  • Methods (enough details to enable you or another person to repeat the experiment with reproducible results)
  • Results
  • Each set of experiments should be recorded on a separate page.
  • If the same method is used several times, there is no need to re-write the procedure, but just to refer to the page number where the method was first described. If minor changes are incorporated, all of them have to be included along with the reference to the previous experiment.
  • Include all the details and the calculation used to make any solutions.
  • Include all graphs, tables or print-outs of data from equipment used.
  • Do not use a correcting pen; any mistakes should be crossed out with a neat line and initial over the changes.
  • Removal of pages from the notebook is not allowed.
  • The notebook should have a table of contents at the end, which lists the name of the experiment and the page number it corresponds to.
  • If abbreviations are used, an Abbreviation List must be included at the end of the notebook.

Appendix 2

File:FOOD 531 Appendix 2.pdf

Appendix 3

Evaluations of Student Work Performance

- Mid-Term Evaluations (June 30th)
- End-Term Evaluations (August 15th)

File:FOOD 531 Evaluation of Student Work Performance.pdf

Appendix 4

Title Page Example

File:FOOD 531 Appendix 4.pdf