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Online course

Identifying Food Fraud

An introduction to modern analytical science techniques and how they can be used to uncover food fraud.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Identifying Food Fraud

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Why join the course?

The food industry is one of the most important commercial sectors in the world. Everyone uses it, but how many people abuse it? As we witness the increasing globalisation of the supply chain, a growing challenge is verifying the questionable identity of raw materials in the food we eat.

In this course we will look at topical issues concerning ‘food fraud’ and explore ways in which analytical chemistry can help in its identification and prevention. We’ll share fascinating examples, such as the history of white bread and a surprising ingredient once found in bitter beer.

The University of East Anglia has joined forces with the world-renowned Institute of Food Research (IFR) to bring you this unique course. You’ll be led by Kate Kemsley, a specialist in the use of advanced instrumentation for measuring the chemical composition of food materials. Course content is linked with UEA’s MChem postgraduate programme, which supports final-year students’ practical research projects in this area of science.

Where could this course take me?

If you are planning to study Chemistry at college or university - this course will give you an essential overview of some instrumental techniques that you are likely to encounter. This includes exploration of infrared technology, NMR and mass spectrometry; important areas of Chemistry for A-Level students to grasp.

This course is also designed to support the professional development of those currently working in the food industry, who want to delve deeper into the methods analytical chemists take in the measurements of food materials and ingredients. It will act as the perfect refresher for your current knowledge base, as you can interact online with thousands of individuals working in the food sector today.

What and how will I learn?

You’ll acquire knowledge and understanding of infrared technology, NMR and mass spectrometry with practical examples linked to current standards and issues in the food sector. You will gain a global perspective of the value of chemistry in this area and learn from analytical chemists in action.

By enjoying a balance of theory and practical applications, students learn directly from academics at the University of East Anglia and scientists from the Institute of Food Research, with a brilliant chance to network throughout the duration of the course.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to methods of food fraud detection
  • Infra-red detection of fraud in coffee
  • Verifying the origins of honey using stable isotopes
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and the horsemeat scandal

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the general issues with food fraud.
  • Apply a knowledge of the scientific techniques for detecting fraud in the scenarios in the course.
  • Identify how food fraud might impact on consumers and producers of foods.
  • Reflect on the social and economic impacts of food fraud.

Who is the course for?

No formal qualifications, just an interest in food fraud and a basic understanding of chemistry.

Who will you learn with?

Kate Kemsley

I head up the Analytical Sciences Unit at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich. For more on my team's work, visit http://asu.ifr.ac.uk/.

Who developed the course?

The University of East Anglia is an internationally renowned university providing top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.

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Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Becoming a food fraud detective
    Becoming a food fraud detective
    video

    Watch this introduction to the course by Dr Kate Kemsley which gives an overview of food fraud from ancient to modern times

  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
    Near-infrared spectroscopy
    video

    Watch this video in which Dr Kate Kemsley introduces the analytical technique of near-infrared spectroscopy

  • Mid-infrared spectroscopy
    Mid-infrared spectroscopy
    video

    Watch this video showing how FTIR can be used to glean detailed information on chemical components present in ground roast coffee using coffee beans