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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.

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

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.

What do people say about this course?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. It was very interesting for me to learn about all those techniques. One of my teachers from University asked me to do a project about what I learned here.

Beatriz Gómez Vera

I have always had a passion for food but now understanding the process behind checking the various food stuff has been enlightening and most enjoyable. Sad that the journey in this particular pathway has come to an end. Thank you for making the information so clear, I hope you will consider making more in the future. I am off to the Biochemistry course now.

Alison Love-Jennings

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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