FDSC40080 Milk and Dairy Products

Academic Year 2021/2022

The module provides students with the knowledge skills required to pursue a career in the dairy sector. There are two sections, the first deals with the chemistry of milk constituents, in particular their interactions during storage and processing. The second section focuses on the flexibility of milk as a raw material for processing, covering the production of the major products of the Irish and international dairy industry with special emphasis on the impact of raw material quality and processing on final product quality. The module also includes a minor project on a topical issue, to develop the students' group-working and written communications skills.

This module will contribute to the development of your understanding of the following areas that are considered core to your development as a professional in Food Science.
Food processing and engineering: Characteristics of milk as a raw material; Principles of food preservation; Principles of food engineering; Principles of dairy product processing.
Applied food science: Integration and application of food science principles to real dairy product situations; Computer skills; Quality assurance; Current issues in dairy science; Food laws and regulations.
Food chemistry and analysis: Structure and properties of dairy products, including water, carbohydrates, protein, lipids, other nutrients and food additives; Chemistry of changes occurring during processing, storage and utilization of dairy products.
Success skills: Written communication skills; Critical thinking/problem solving skills; Professionalism skills; Life-long learning skills; Interaction/teamwork skills; Information acquisition skills (i.e., written and electronic searches, databases, Internet, etc.); Time management and project management skills.
Food safety and microbiology: Beneficial microorganisms in dairy products; Control of microorganisms in dairy products.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: 1. describe in detail the chemistry of the milk system. 2. analyse the interactions of the various milk constituents during processing and storage. 3. describe the production of the major dairy products. 4. evaluate the impact of important factors, such as variation in raw material composition or variation in processing parameters, on final dairy product quality. 5. source evaluate and summarise literature on a topical issue & work effectively in a group.

Indicative Module Content:

Learning Package (LP) Lecture titles
LP1 Introduction: Course outline and overview of dairy sector; Milk secretion, composition and colloidal nature; Milk salts; Variation in milk composition.
LP2 Milk Proteins The milk protein system; Casein: molecular properties; Casein micelles; Major whey proteins; Minor whey proteins and denaturation of milk protein.
LP3 Milk Lipids Milk fat composition; fatty acid distribution, melting properties, synthesis and secretion; The milk fat emulsion; Separation, homogenization and stability
LP4 Lactose Structure, mutarotation and solubility; Crystalisation of lactose in dairy products; Purification and uses of Lactose.
LP5 Minor milk constituents Vitamins and minerals in milk; Enzymes in milk
LP6 Heat Stability Measurement and compositional factors affecting heat stability; Effects of processing on stability and overview of heat coagulation process
LP7 Liquid products Milk pasteurization; UHT milks and creams.
LP8 Cheese General principles of cheese making; Cheese curd production; Cheese ripening; Cheese varieties.
LP9 Fermented milks Principles of yoghurt production; Post fermentation handling of yoghurt, cultured buttermilk production and other fermented milks.
LP10 Butter and spreads Butter manufacture; Physical properties of butter and the manufacture of mixed fat spreads.
LP11 Concentration and drying Production of milk concentrates; Drying of milk powders.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The main approach to T&L is face-to-face lectures, the syllabus is divided into 10 themes with between 2 to 5 lectures devoted to each and the in-class MCQ assessments are timed to coincide with the completion of approximately 2 themes. All lecture materials slides and lecture texts will be released to students on the Brightspark VLE as each topic is addressed in lectures. While in-semester repeats of the MCQ are not offered, those that miss these assessments, with legitimate excuse, may remediate within the module. The essay project allows students to learn independently of the coordinator and to work in a group to research a Dairy product or topic. the submission of a draft (mot mandatory) allows for formative feedback. Completion of the written report allows students to build on the learning from their third year Scientific writing and review module and also should help to hone their writing skills in preparation for completion of their thesis. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
ENVB30110 - Food Microbiology, FDSC30030 - Food Analysis II, FDSC30040 - Food Chemistry I, FDSC30050 - Food Chemistry II

FDSC20110 - Food Diet and Health II

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: 2h exam three questions from five 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire (Short): 5 x 10 min tests in class each worth 3% Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: 2,000 word essay project on a dairy topic Week 10 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback offered on essay draft

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 5, 9, 11 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 14:00 - 14:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 12:00 - 12:50