VCE Food and Technology focuses on the importance of food in our daily lives from both a theoretical and practical point of view. The study enables students to apply their theoretical understanding of the relationship between food and technology as they develop skills in food preparation.
The food sector is dynamic, diverse and creative. Innovative food products are continually being introduced into the marketplace in response to changing social and consumer demands. Contemporary society is aware of the links between food, food processing, nutrition, health and well-being, and issues associated with these have become a high priority for consumers. VCE Food and Technology challenges students to make these links and provides them with the opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills to make informed choices when selecting, storing, purchasing, preparing and consuming foods that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Students also consider the importance of environmental issues and sustainability practices in food production, as well as the important role of technology in food product development and the way food is produced, processed, packaged and marketed.
Through this study students develop knowledge of the physical, chemical, sensory and functional properties of food and are able to apply this knowledge when using food in a practical situation. They develop and apply the knowledge and skills to prepare food safely and hygienically. Students use the design process, critical thinking and problem-solving skills to develop food products to suit specific situations or to meet the needs of individual consumers and their lifestyles. In this process, they also develop independent and cooperative learning skills.
The study may provide a foundation for pathways to food science and technology, consumer science, home economics, child care and education, community services and aged care, the hospitality and food manufacturing industries, and nutrition and health studies.
Unit 1: Food safety and properties of food
In this unit students study safe and hygienic food handling and storage practices to prevent food spoilage and food poisoning, and apply these practices in the preparation of food. They consider food preparation practices suitable for use in a small-scale food operation, such as in the home, a school setting or in a small food business. Students consider the selection and use of a range of tools and equipment suitable for use in food preparation.
Students examine the links between classification of foods and their properties, and examine changes in properties of food when different preparation and processing techniques are used. Students apply this knowledge when preparing food. They investigate quality and ethical considerations in food selection. Students use the design process to meet the requirements of design briefs to maximise the qualities of key foods.
Unit 2: Planning and preparation of food
In this unit students investigate the most appropriate tools and equipment to produce optimum results, including the latest developments in food technology. Students research, analyse and apply the most suitable food preparation, processing and cooking techniques to optimise the physical, sensory and chemical properties of food.
Students work both independently and as members of a team to research and implement solutions to a design brief. They use the design process to respond to challenges of preparing food safely and hygienically for a range of contexts and consumers, taking into account nutritional considerations, social and cultural influences, and resource access and availability. Students also explore environmental considerations when planning and preparing meals.
The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit.