Star Profile / Star diagram for Pastry

Here’s how you can use the Nutrition Program for GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition NEA 1

Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment 15% of total qualification

Task A Example: Shortcrust pastry should be crisp to the bite and crumbly in the mouth. It can be prepared using a range of different ingredients.
Investigate the working characteristics and the functional and chemical properties where appropriate, of the different ingredients needed to achieve a perfect shortcrust pastry.

Choose fats for pastries – for example, Trex, butter, lard and margarine, lard on its own.

Think of 5 words to describe pastry – crumbly, short, buttery, light, tough.

See our Tasting Word Bank.

Make and taste the pastries and put the results on My Recipes, Star Profile.

The Tasting words are listed as descriptors on the left side.

Then carry out several tastings and get marks out of 5.

The Nutrition Program creates the star as you can see below. You can then write the Evaluations of the different pastries as shown below and download your work.

Star profile for pastry

Cut down on sugar – especially free sugars

Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush is campaigning to raise awareness of sugar in fizzy pop.

The Great British Bakeoff     asked contestants to make sugar free cakes but they added agave syrup and honey instead – which are counted as free sugars.

Better way to use fruit and vegetables such as carrots and apples. Dr Sally Norton said:

‘That way we will appreciate the more subtle sweetness of fruit, veg, and reduce our risk of health problems and dental decay.’

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)

  • High levels of sugar consumption are linked with a greater risk of tooth decay.
  • The higher the proportion of sugar in the diet, the greater the risk of high energy intake.
  • Drinking high-sugar beverages results in weight gain and increases in BMI in teenagers and children.
  • Consuming too many high-sugar beverages increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Added sugar should not make up more than 5% of total energy.This around 30g of sugar a day.

In UK children aged 11-18 years are getting 15% of daily calories from added sugar.

Food label
>22.5g/100g total sugars is high

<5g/100g total sugars is low.

The drinks with up TWENTY teaspoons of sugar – Daily Mail article



The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends that:

Free sugars should account for no more than 5% daily dietary energy intake.

The term free sugars is adopted, replacing the terms Non Milk Extrinsic Sugars (NMES) and added sugars ( sucrose (table sugar),fructose, glucose). Free sugars are those added to food or those naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices, but exclude lactose in milk and milk products. It does not include the sugars naturally present in intact fruit and vegetables and dairy products.

  • 19g or 5 sugar cubes for children aged 4 to 6,
  • 24g or 6 sugar cubes for children aged 7 to 10,
  • 30g or 7 sugar cubes for 11 years and over
“Cut down on sugars, increase fibre and we’ll all have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives.”


  • Table sugar (sugar cane/ beet/other sources)
  • Golden Syrup
  • Molasses or Treacle
  • Agave syrup
  • Rice malt syrup
  • Coconut blossom syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened fruit juice
  • **Any other sort of syrup that I have failed to mention typically used as a sugar replacer that contains sugar in the food label!


  • Lactose in milk and dairy products
  • Sugar naturally present in fruit, including dried, canned and stewed
  • Sugar naturally present in vegetables
  • Sugar naturally present in grains and cereals


At the moment food labels here in the UK only account for total sugar, not free sugars. This can make it difficult to distinguish the difference between sugars naturally present in a food and those with sugar added. Hopefully in future this will change and this report will result in changes made to food labelling laws to incorporate added sugars to help consumers make informed choices. Until this happens, look at the ingredients list to see whether there are sugars added to a particular food product. The higher up the list, the bigger the proportion as ingredients are listed in order of quantity.

Good website to use

The current recommendation that starchy carbohydrates, wholegrain where possible, should form 50% of daily calorie intake is maintained
Those aged 16 and over increase their intake of fibre to 30g a day, 25g for 11-to 15 year olds, 20g for 5 to 11 year olds and 15g for 2 to 5 year olds.
Free sugar should be reduced to 5% of daily calorie intake to improve and protect health.

New evidence has led SACN to propose broadening the definition of dietary fibre currently used in the UK. SACN is proposing that adults should consume 30g fibre/day measured according to the new definition.

The proposed new definition of fibre encompasses all carbohydrates that are naturally integrated components of foods and that are neither digested nor absorbed in the small intestine and have a degree of polymerisation of three or more monomeric units, plus lignin
30g of fibre a day by eating five portions of fruit and vegetables, two slices of wholemeal bread, a portion of high fibre breakfast cereal, a baked potato and a portion of whole wheat pasta.
 Agave comes from the cactus and is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar. It has a low glycaemic index so doesn’t cause energy spikes. It’s 90% fructose which is metabolised by the liver and converted to fat. It can lead to insulin resistance.


Risotto – gelatinisation

Science term – gelatinisation

You need to use risotto rice as it contains a high amount of starch and gives a soft, creamy texture but the grains remain chewy when cooked.

As you cook this risotto you can see the starch in the rice grains changing as the grains swell, absorb the liquid, swell and release the starch into the cooking liquid.

What can I cook?


Pea and carrot risotto

Serves 4


100g onion, finely chopped

30g oil

150g risotto rice

7g vegetable stock cube

600g boiling water

100g frozen peas

1 carrot (60g), grated

30g finely grated Parmesan cheese

5g of parsley finely chopped


Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the chopped onion. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft.

Stir in the rice and coat the grains in oil.

Dissolve the stock cube in boiling water and gradually stir into the rice.

Cook for 15 minutes as the rice absorbs the liquid. Add the peas and grated carrot and stir.

Taste to see if rice grains are soft and serve with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.


chopping board, sharp knife, large pan, wooden spoon, grater, measuring jug


Energy per portion (270g) 2371 kcal, Protein 7.5g, Sugar 1.2 g, Fat 3.9g, Salt 0.9g

Allergens none

The science bit

As the rice is cooking, the stirring helps the starch grains release starch into the cooking liquid. The grains soften as the starch gelatinises, and the starch in the liquid thickens the sauce giving the risotto its creamy texture.

Star profile for Nutrition Program

We are adding a star profile/ star diagram to the Nutrition Program so you can show tasting results of food and work out how to improve.

Star profiles

Choose some tasting words for a dish like chilli con carne and then give them a mark out of 5.

0 = not and 5 = very.

star profile chilliThe star shows the profile you want and the result that you get.

You can choose 3 – 7 sensory words to describe the food and give them a rating from 0 to 5.

This is the star profile for a salad.

star profile






Word bucketstar profileStar profilestar profile

Maths and Food Technology

My talk in March 1st 2014 ‘Maths and food teaching’ Teachers are asked to help develop maths skills in every subject and food teaching needs a wide range of maths skills. Using the Nutrition Program we will explore the new food labelling regulations and look at all the maths involved in understanding the nutritional value of recipes, meals and diets.’

Free Maths and Food Technology is on this link.

Maths and Food

This talk on Maths – Powerpoint on this link.

3663 is one of the largest suppliers of wholesale food and catering but do you know why they use these numbers?

Email me the answer – it’s embeded in the talk.

This is how teacher Linda Martin includes Numeracy in her lessons.

‘The majority of my lessons have references to Maths.

I want students to understand the importance of how other subjects can help them in Food Technology

I will use a basic recipe and I will double it, treble it and so on

Swiss Roll

3 eggs , 75g Flour, 75g Caster Sugar

I will ask the class what would the quantities be for 2 egg or 4 eggs

Similarly Shortcrust pastry 25g flour, 12g fat, 5ml water – Scale this up.

With the Nutrition Program look at % of GDA

I will reference Bar Charts, Pie Charts –  I know you have been working in Maths on Pie Charts.

All the scales we use are balance scales and this is particularly helpful for the less able and it is very visual, meets the needs of different learning styles.

We work in Metric but I also have conversion charts.

For the Program I pair students up, although they are working individually I try to have one that is more confident with numeracy and ICT skills and they can usually be a coach for the weaker student. I find they very quickly get the hang of it.

Linda Martin The Community College, Shropshire