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 3: Food preparation, processing and food controls
In this unit students develop an understanding of food safety in Australia and the relevant national, state and local authorities and their regulations, including the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system. They investigate the causes of food spoilage and food poisoning and apply safe work practices while preparing food.
Students demonstrate understanding of key foods, analyse the functions of the natural components of key foods and apply this information in the preparation of foods. They investigate cooking techniques and justify the use of the techniques they select when preparing key foods. Students develop an understanding of the primary and secondary processes that are applied to key foods, including food processing techniques to prevent spoilage. They also preserve food using these techniques.
Students devise a design brief from which they develop a detailed design plan. Evaluation criteria are developed from the design brief specifications. In preparing their design plan, students conduct research and incorporate their knowledge about key foods, properties of food, tools, equipment, safety and hygiene, preparation, cooking and preservation techniques. They make decisions related to the specifications of the brief. In developing the design plan, students establish an overall production timeline to complete the set of food items (the product) to meet the requirements of the brief for implementation in Unit 4.
Unit 4: Food product development and emerging trends
In this unit students develop individual production plans for the proposed four to six food items and implement the design plan they established in Unit 3. In completing this task, students apply safe and hygienic work practices using a range of preparation and production processes, including some which are complex. They use appropriate tools and equipment and evaluate their planning, processes and product.
Students examine food product development, and research and analyse driving forces that have contributed to product development. They investigate issues underpinning the emerging trends in product development, including social pressures, consumer demand, technological developments, and environmental considerations. Students also investigate food packaging, packaging systems and marketing.
Units 3 and 4
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4. In the study of VCE Food and Technology students’ level of achievement will be determined by School-assessed Coursework, a School-assessed Task and an end-of-year examination.
Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Food and Technology are as follows:
- Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 18 per cent
- Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 12 per cent
- Units 3 and 4 School-assessed Task: 40 per cent
- End-of-year examination: 30 per cent.