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Environmental Food Processing


Subject Area Food Science
Credits 5
Start Date 20 January 2025
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Online 
Course Leader (opens in a new window)Dr Tesfaye Bedane

80%-Learner Fee Subsidy

Application Deadline 6 January 2025

Rapidly growing world population is continuously increasing the demand for safe, high-quality and nutritious foods. To meet this demand, food production and processing operations often intensify, resulting in various environmental impacts. 

The aim of this micro-credential is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of food processing on the environment as well as innovative solutions available to contribute to the sustainable food systems using green technologies. The micro-credential is designed to provide you the essential tools to assess environmental impact and to critically examine the role of emerging food processing technologies in meeting current and future nutritional demands. It is also intended to provide basic principles of key emerging food processing technologies, mechanisms, and their effects on food quality characteristics as well as on the structural and physicochemical properties inherent to each processing approach. In addition, the micro-credential will enhance understanding of ways and means of making food processing sustainable through waste recovery. 

Specific research-based case studies will be used to illustrate the knowledge and skills presented in this micro-credential.

This micro-credential is relevant for employees in the private or public food and feed sectors, SMEs as well as professionals who are interested in sustainable processing of foods. It is also relevant to food technologists, researchers and anyone who is seeking to understand the role of alternative and emerging technologies in sustainable processing of foods.

On completion of this micro-credential, you will:

  • Be able to understand and critically assess the impacts of food processing on the environment
  • Have developed an understanding of the rationale and drivers for emerging technologies in sustainable food processing 
  • Gain a basic knowledge of the principles and mechanisms of selected thermal and non-thermal emerging technologies applied to food processing operations
  • Be able to compare and contrast the effects of different emerging processing technologies on the safety and quality of foods and on the environment.
  • Be able to  Integrate and apply knowledge of key emerging technologies in sustainable food processing
  • Have developed  the ability to identify and propose appropriate technologies for a specific product or process using research skills

  • Introduction to sustainable food processing
  • Environmental impacts of food processing
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Green and renewable food processing technologies
  • Thermal food processing technologies
    • Moderate electric field/ohmic heating
    • Dielectric heating
    • Induction and Irradiation, and etc
  • Non-thermal food processing technologies
    • High hydrostatic pressure processing (HHP)
    • Pulsed electric fields
    • Ultrasound processing and etc

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be equipped with key knowledge and skills relevant to sustainable food production and processing using innovative and emerging technologies. You will gain new perspectives on the sustainable solutions for the complex problems in the global food systems. This micro-credential can also enhance your career options and capabilities, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking skills within the food industry.

Completing this micro-credential will also give you the confidence to discuss the topic and solutions based on sound and reliable information delivered by experts in the field.

This micro-credential has been developed with up-to-date resources from leading researchers at UCD.

This micro-credential is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace). 

This is a self-directed module designed for you to work through the material at your own pace as much as possible once you meet the key assessment dates, but you can read the material and engage with the lectures as and when fits your own schedule.

You will learn in a variety of ways, through a mixture of autonomous learning, live online tutorials, peer-review and feedback. A discussion forum will enable peer-to-peer interactions and discussions.

A repository of resources will be available to support your learning, and as a UCD student, you will have full access to the library.

This is a 5 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 100 hours of learner effort.

Applicants are required to hold an NFQ level 8 Honours degree (minimum 2nd Class Honours Lower)  in a cognate subject (Science, Engineering or related discipline). Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be admitted on the basis of considerable relevant experience.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

You will be assessed using a combination of continuous assessment throughout the trimester in the form of short multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and a written assignment. You will also have another MCQ at the end of the trimester.

Feedback will be provided for written assignments. Feedback on MCQs will be given automatically on their completion.

Please note: Learners can avail of only one form of funding per application. 

Micro-Credentials Learner Fee Subsidy-Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3

The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy has been introduced to enable more learners to address critical skills gaps and engage with lifelong learning through micro-credentials. The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy is funded by Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 

HCI Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidies are available on identified micro-credentials only and in fixed numbers from March 2024 until October 2025.  

Please see Eligibility Criteria for further information.