NUTR 440
Experimental Foods

David L. Gee, PhD
Professor of Food Science and Nutrition


Course Syllabus
Grading Policy
David Gee's Home Page
Course Schedule
Research Project
Past Project Abstracts

Course Syllabus

Learner Outcomes:

1.  The student will learn and apply knowledge about the chemical and physical roles of food components in simple and complex food systems.

2.  The student will become familiar with the subject of food research, food research methods (subjective and objective), research report writing, and research presentation and be able to complete a food research project.

3.  The student will produce a final research paper describing their food research project that is suitable for publication in a peer reviewed professional scientific publication such as the Journal of Nutrition in Recipe and Menu Development.

4.  The student will produce a poster presentation describing their food research project that would be suitable for presentation at a national professional meeting such as the Annual Meeting of the American Dietetic Association.

Required Texts

Foods: Experimental Perspectives., 6th ed., M. McWilliams, 2010
Laboratory Methods for Sensory Evaluation of Foods. Canada Department of Agriculture & Laboratory 1-4 protocols. Available at The Copy Shop.

Fees and other costs

$20 materials fee: the fee covers the cost of the materials used in all laboratory assignments as well as provides a base budget that student research teams will use for the food research project.


Grading Policy

Exam 1 75 points
Exam 2 75 points
Final Exam  75 points
Research Project Manuscript 100 points
Peer Review  Evaluation (3 reviewers) 30 points
Partner Effort Review  20 points
Research Project Proposal 20 points
Poster/Oral Presentation  40 points
Peer Evaluations of Manuscript 20 points
Laboratory Reports
    ( *  due following Friday after data available) 
80 points
Laboratory Procedures (grading by L.Engel)  15 points
TOTAL 550 points

All late work will be penalized by 10% per day.  All work is due at the beginning of the class period.

Research Project

The Experimental Foods Research Project is designed to give the Food Science and Nutrition student the opportunity to design, implement, analyze, and present and original research project.  By conducting this research project, the student will have an understanding of the research process that is the basis of Food Science and Nutrition Science.   Graduates from CWU's Food Science and Nutrition program will be more critical evaluators of future research findings in their field that they become aware of as a result of this assignment.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the Research Project, the student will be able to:

1.  Write a satisfactory research proposal
2.  Design an experiment with appropriate controls
3.  Manage their time to complete the project by the expected deadlines
4.  Evaluate their data using acceptable statistical tests
5.  Write a research manuscript suitable for publication in a professional journal
6.  Present their research in a poster format in a public setting

Research Project Objectives:
1. To develop a food product(s)that is substantially modified to improve the nutritional quality of that food.
2. To measure the effects this modification has on the sensory and physical qualities of that food.

Human Subjects Review Program - Responsible Conduct of Research Certificate
To conduct research utilizing human subjects (such as this research project), all investigators at CWU must obtain an RCR Certificate.  To obtain the RCR Certificate, you must do two things.  Prior to October 6, you must complete Module 1 of the online Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research tutorial.  A link to that tutorial can be found on the button bar at the top of this web page.  You CAN NOT begin recruiting subjects for your project until you have completed this tutorial.  It generally takes about 30 minutes to complete this online tutorial.  Staff members at CWU's Human Subjects Review Program receive an automatic report of who successfully completed the tutorial (there are quiz questions in the online tutorial).  Secondly, you must attend the presentation given by the staff members of CWU's HSRP on October 6 during our normal class period.

Project Requirements:
1. Students will work in self-selected groups of THREE.
The final manuscript will be written to meet requirements for RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL BRIEFS articles as described in 'Guidelines for Authors' for publication in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  These guidelines can be found in their January issue or online at or on the "Instruction to Authors" link on the button
bar of this web page
Posters must be professional in appearance and clearly describe the research protocol, results, and conclusions/applications of your research project.  The poster must be understandable on its own.  The poster must be able to fit onto a 4 foot by 6 foot bulletin board. 

4.  Minimum research project guidelines (for a 'C' grade) include:
    a.  two or more difference tests with a minimum of 10 judges
    b.  two or more intensity tests with a minimum of 10 judges
    c.  one or more preference tests with a minimum of 10 judges
    d.  one or more objective tests with a minimum of 5 replicate measurements
    e.  two or more general references (textbook, reviews) and one or more specific references
        to original research publications.
    f.  a control food product and two or more variations of that food product
        note:     These are general guidelines.  Expectations may vary depending on the complexity of the
                     food product being tested and the nature of the food product.

5. Research Proposal and Preliminary Project Idea

Preliminary Project Idea
This is a brief one paragraph statement describing what you intend to study in this proposed research project. It should not be more than two or three sentences in length. It is due as described in the course schedule. The purpose of this statement is to get your group moving forward quickly in deciding on a project concept. It also allows the instructor to provide some quick feedback to make sure that you are on the right track.

Research Proposal
The format of the Research Proposal shall include the following headings:
    a.    Title page (title, name of principal investigators)
    b.    Introduction (outlines problem in general, brief review of the literature)
    c.    Specific Aims (what do you specifically hope to find from your research?)
    d.    Proposed Methods  (describe the protocol you will follow to meet your Specific Aims)
    e.    Estimated Budget and Special Materials/equipment needed. (consult Lucinda Engle and the cost estimate handout she will provide)

The Research Proposal (sections b, c, d) shall not exceed 4 pages (double spaced, 12 point font)

Food Research Project Timeline
Date Activity
Week 1 Establish research topic, research literature/past projects
Week 2 Establish research topic, research literature/past projects, preliminary testing, obtain any special ingredients, preliminary project idea
Week 3 Research literature/past projects, preliminary testing, begin writing research proposal
Week 4 Research proposal, preliminary testing, research food literature, recruit sensory evaluation judges
Week 5 Prepare food samples, conduct sensory and objective data collection
Week 6 Prepare food samples, conduct sensory and objective data collection
Week 7 Prepare food samples, conduct sensory and objective data collection.  Organize data, submit for statistical analysis
Week 8 Analyze data, write research manuscript
Week 9 Write research manuscript, prepare poster/oral presentation
Week 10 Research manuscript, poster presentations, peer reviews



Week Activity

Course overview
Introduction to Experimental Foods and the Research Project
The Research Project 

2 Evaluation of Product Quality: 
           Sensory Evaluation
3 Statistical Analysis, Laboratory Report Writing
4 Objective Evaluation of Foods

Principles of Baking
Baking Applications 
Exam One

6 Leavening Agents
Baking Applications

Fats and Oils

8 Food Preservation 
9 Overview of Proteins and Meats

Research Project Manuscripts and Poster Presentations
Final Exam  4-6pm
Peer reviews due


Past Project Abstracts

Fall Quarter 2010

Fall Quarter 2009

Fall Quarter 2008

Fall Quarter 2007

Fall Quarter 2006

Fall Quarter 2005

Fall Quarter 2004

Fall Quarter 2003

Fall Quarter 2002

Fall Quarter 2001