FPE-10808 Food Production Chains

Profile of the course

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.