Lisa Winnington – Subject Support Co-ordinator
We released the Food Investigation Task for GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition on 1 September 2022. Since then we’ve had a number of questions from teachers, so in this blog I’ll answer some of these questions. We hope this will help you understand the task and support your students.
The focus of the investigation is changes in different wheat flours. Therefore completed recipes or fillings, for example a quiche or other pastry products are not required as this deflects from the investigation.
Students can approach the investigations around coagulation by using either one protein or a range of proteins. If students use a range of proteins, it is important for them to consider how to create a control recipe and how to make comparisons and draw conclusions from their testing.
There is a wide range of flours that students could use. It’s important for students to consider an appropriate number to make sure that their investigations:
We recommend that three variables/investigations on the chosen commodity is sufficient.
When choosing the pastry to investigate, it is important to consider the choice so that there is a fair, realistic outcome on which students can base their results, analysis, etc. It is the use of the wheat flours that would be the focus of the investigations and how this might affect different types of pastries.
The choices of pastry for their investigations will depend on the student’s hypothesis and aims and what they expect from the investigations/testing.
It is considered an acceptable approach for students to look at one type of pastry as long as they consider applying different heats, methods, quantities, etc as part of their investigations.
The number of experiments and investigations is the student’s own decision and based on the student’s prediction; however we would suggest three or four as a maximum. The complexity of these investigations is not relevant for this task.
The student would need to carry out a required number of investigations to enable a wide range of results and forms to present their results, for example, bar graphs, start profiles, pie charts, scattergun, photographic evidence, etc. A wide range of data/results would be considered to be at least three.
Words within tables need to be included in the final word count, as do captions for photographs.
Students are free to collaborate when carrying out research and preparatory work. Each student should write up their own written evidence/report. It is acceptable for all members of the group to record the same data, but each candidate must use their own words to describe how the data was obtained and draw their own conclusions. It would be expected that each student would have their own aims, predictions/hypothesis for each of their investigations.
It’s a good idea to check out the Teacher’s guide on the Food Investigation Task, which includes lots of hints and tips on planning as well as links to further information.
We hope that this helps to answer your questions. Please get in touch if you have any questions specific to your students that aren’t covered in the questions and answers above.
If you have any other questions, you can email us at email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Food. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive up-to-date email information about resources and support.
Lisa is a Subject Support Co-ordinator and has worked for Cambridge University Press & Assessment in various roles since 2000, most recently in Compliance. Lisa is responsible for a range of subjects including law, citizenship and the Extended Project Qualification.