All course information is listed within this syllabus.

FDSC 200: Introductory Food Science (3 credits). General overview and principles; food constituents and properties; quality and safety; preservation methods; processing animal and plant products.

Prerequisite: CHEM 110


Instructor for FDSC 200

Hassan Gourama, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Food Science

201 E Luerssen Building, Division of Science
Penn State Berks
Reading, PA 19610

Phone: 610-396-6121
E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

Instructor for FDSC 200

Ramaswamy C. Anantheswaran, Ph.D.
Professor of Food Science
Director for Education by Non-Traditional Delivery
Chair of the Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Research Group

305 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-3004
E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

Course Overview

In this course, you will become familiar with the basic types of processed foods available to consumers, the basic types of processes utilized to preserve these foods and the fundamental scientific principles behind these processes. You will understand the main concepts of quality control for safety and quality in the processing of foods. You will also become familiar with the vocabulary of food technology in order to better understand the literature of food processing and evaluate the safety, advertising, quality, and marketing of processed foods. And by taking this course you will become better prepared to take more in-depth courses in food science and other related majors.

  • Module 1: Food System
  • Module 2: Food Product Development
  • Module 3: Food Chemistry
  • Module 4: Food Analysis
  • Module 5: Food Microbiology
  • Module 6: Food Toxicology
  • Module 7: Food Biotechnology
  • Module 8: Nutrition
  • Module 9: Food Engineering
  • Module 10: Food Processing
  • Module 11: Sensory

Course Objectives

Upon completion of FDSC 200, students will have learned to:

  • Explain the scope and the history of food science and technology.
  • Understand food composition and the major food categories including beverages, cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, milk and dairy products and confectionery products.
  • Become familiar with the basics of human nutrition and food labeling.
  • Understand the basic chemistry and functional properties of food carbohydrates, food lipids and food proteins, and the chemistry of colors and food flavors.
  • Explain the nature and function of food additives and food laws and regulations in the United States.
  • Explain the basic principles of food processing operations such as heat, cold and drying.
  • Explain how animal products such as meats, dairy products, and eggs are preserved.
  • Explain how beverages, plant products, and food lipids are processed and preserved.
  • Explain the types of microorganisms found in foods, the factors that affect their growth in foods, and their role in food spoilage and food fermentations.
  • Explain the most common biological hazards responsible for foodborne illnesses, the factors that contribute to foodborne illnesses and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Describe risk assessment for chemical hazards, naturally occurring toxins and synthetic toxicants.
  • Explain the physical make up of foods and the effects of food processing on the physical properties of foods.
  • Examine heat transfer, psychrometrics, and extrusion technology.
  • Explain the basics of food biotechnology and genetic engineering and examine the benefits and concerns of food biotechnology.
  • Examine the basics of sensory evaluation and food product development.

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

There is no required textbook for this class.

Grading Policy

Exams, quizzes, and assignments must be taken or submitted when scheduled unless you present a documented and legitimate excuse (i.e., police accident report, doctor's letter, attending conferences, class trips, etc.). The make-ups will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Questions for exams and quizzes will be based on material covered in Canvas and assigned readings.


There will be four exams within the course:

  • Exam 1, covers Modules 3 and 4
  • Exam 2, covers Modules 5, 6, and 7
  • Exam 3, covers Modules 8 and 9
  • Exam 4, covers Modules 10 and 11

The due date for each exam is listed in the course schedule. Review the material carefully in Canvas and use the study guides to help you review. You have one attempt to take this timed exam. There are 40 multiple-choice questions. Timing will begin as soon as you start the exam and will not stop even if you log out or switch browsers. You have 80 min to complete this exam, at which time it will automatically close.


A quiz will be assigned at the end of each of the following modules: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. The due date for each quiz is listed in the course schedule. Each quiz consists of 15 multiple-choice questions. You have three attempts to take this timed quiz. Timing will begin as soon as you start the quiz and will not stop even if you log out or switch browsers. You have 30 minutes to complete the quiz, at which time it will automatically close.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Weight
Exams 50%
Quizzes 25%
Assignments 25%
TOTAL: 100%

Grading will be done on a straight percentage basis in accordance with the scale presented below:

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage
A 100% – 93%
A- < 93% – 90%
B+ < 90% – 87%
B < 87% – 83%
B- < 83% – 80%
C+ < 80% – 77%
C < 77% – 70%
D < 70% – 60%
F < 60%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on the World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the Internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the Internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the Internet.

Accessibility Information

  • Accessibility statement for Canvas.


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Support Services

As a World Campus student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the World Campus Student Services page for more information.

If you experience technology problems of any kind in Canvas, please select the Help icon and select "Report a Canvas Problem," "Chat with Support," or "Call Support." It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as: the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Penn State Policies

Log-In Policy

Students are expected to log-in regularly to keep up-to-date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Course Availability

Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class for each semester and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

Read the Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's Academic Integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity at the Report Bias webpage.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their web privacy statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff webpage for information regarding its rules on governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 814-863-0395
  • Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
  • Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741
  • Mental Health Services

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.