A $400,000 refurbishment of a food science laboratory at the University of Newcastle is complete, offering students a first-class training facility that mimics the professional environment of an industrial kitchen.
The purpose-built laboratory, to be officially opened today, gives students from the University’s Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics program access to a professional space to hone their practical skills in food experimentation, preparation, and menu management.
Program convenor, Dr Lesley MacDonald-Wicks, said the laboratory’s substantial refit and technology update allowed students to develop their skills by learning in a practical environment.
“We have tried to mimic as best we can an industrial kitchen to improve the student experience and train competent, work-ready graduates,” Dr MacDonald-Wicks said.
“Students build up their awareness of foods and their nutritional components, including ways to combine foods effectively when preparing menus. Through practical exposure and guided activities, students are encouraged to experiment with menu management and gain an understanding of the importance of recipe modification for people with special dietary requirements.”
The University funded the laboratory upgrade. The teaching space will also be used by the Bachelor of Secondary Teaching (Technology) students who will learn skills including food demonstration, classroom management and food safety.
“Students in both fields are encouraged to develop a cultural appreciation of food and the role of food in the social and cultural contexts of our lives,” Dr MacDonald-Wicks said.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health, Professor Nicholas Talley, will officially open the Nutrition and Dietetics Food Science Laboratory at 10am on Wednesday 20 June in the Hunter Building, Level E, HE02. Media welcome.
Contact information: Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations, (02) 4985 4276 or 0428 038477.