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Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

AGR3303 Agricultural Materials and Post-Harvest Technologies

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Agricultural, Civil, Environmental Engineering
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Guangnan Chen
Moderator: Troy Jensen

Synopsis

The handling, grading, storage, packaging and processing of agricultural produce are all important parts of the agricultural production and distribution system and frequently involve costs in excess of those associated with simply growing the crop. A knowledge of, the physiological, physical, thermal, aerodynamic, rheological, electrical and optical properties of agricultural materials is highly relevant to these areas. Such knowledge may be used for the purposes of devising techniques for grading, sorting, separation and the design of packaging to prevent possible product damage. Post harvest treatments against pests and diseases are considered as well as modified atmosphere storage and controlled atmosphere storage for extending shelf life. The fundamentals of waste management and life-cycle environmental assessments and some basic aspects of food processing technology are also considered.

Objectives

The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, student should be able to:

  1. list and define the relevant physical properties of agricultural materials;
  2. calculate rheological parameters;
  3. discuss the causes and consequences of mechanical damage;
  4. determine the requirements for good packaging;
  5. understand the principles of separation, sorting and grading;
  6. describe aerodynamic and hydrodynamic characteristics;
  7. describe and measure material properties of granular materials, and understand their dynamic and static behaviour;
  8. compare various materials handling systems;
  9. discuss the requirements for proper post harvest management of crops and fruits;
  10. understand the physiological and environmental factors influencing quality of horticultural produce and specify appropriate post harvest technology;
  11. measure and calculate the product cooling rate and specify the cool store design requirements;
  12. discuss the principles of waste management and its environmental impact;
  13. describe available technologies for food preservation and processing and their commercial use;
  14. understand the concept and applications of life-cycle environmental assessments

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Physical properties 5.00
2. Basic concepts of rheology 10.00
3. Aero and hydrodynamic characteristics 10.00
4. Separation processes 5.00
5. Physiological/environmental factors influencing produce quality 5.00
6. Mechanical damage 10.00
7. Controlled atmosphere, aeration, freezing and cooling 10.00
8. Post harvest treatments for disease and insect control 5.00
9. Grading Packaging and transport 5.00
10. Behaviour of granular materials 5.00
11. Bulk storage of granular materials 10.00
12. Materials handling 5.00
13. Waste management 5.00
14. Aspects of food preservation and processing technology 5.00
15. Life-cycle environmental assessments 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2013&sem=01&subject1=AGR3303)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Mohsenin, NN 1986, Physical properties of plant and animal materials, 2nd edn, Gordon and Breach, New York.
    (rev. & updated edn.)
  • Sitkei, G 1986, Mechanics of agricultural materials, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • Wills, R et al 1998, Post harvest, 4th edn, NSW University Press, Sydney.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 24.00
Directed Study 30.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 99.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 10 10 May 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 17 May 2013
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 700 70 End S1 (see note 1)

NOTES
  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available (or at least a grade of C-) for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination) and calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students may take into this examination an A4 sheet (two sides) containing any information that they believe will be relevant and useful. The A4 sheet of information must be submitted with the answer booklet.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au.

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing