FCH-31306 Enzymology for Food and Biorefinery


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MA Kabel
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AEM Janssen
prof. dr. ir. H Gruppen
dr. ir. MA Kabel
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. H Gruppen
dr. ir. MA Kabel

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FCH-20806 Food Chemistry; CBI-10306 Cell Biology and MIB-10306 Microbiology & Biochemistry.

Continuation courses:



This course builds on the enzymatic aspects that have been discussed in the course Food Chemistry (FCH-20806). A pivotal aspect is to select the right enzyme from a large number of enzymes available in nature in order to control an enzymatic process. Such a process can be designed for food production as well as for biorefinery of an agricultural raw material. The complexity of the raw material matrix and the properties of the enzyme (pH and temperature optimum, reaction products etc.) have to be accounted for. It is important to remember, understand and apply general biochemical principles. Moreover, it is important to extrapolate this knowledge to distinguish and select enzymes that play a role during food processing and biorefining. Exogenous enzymes that are added to a food, as well as endogenous enzymes that are present in a raw material are being discussed. Catalytic mechanism, structure-function relations, mode of action under changing conditions, as well as enzyme kinetics will be extensively dealt with. During the tutorial a case will be studied, using enzyme databases from the Internet. In the laboratory class the knowledge will be applied to design and evaluate an experiment including enzymatic conversions relevant for food processing and biorefinery.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- understand the mode of action of different classes of enzymes;
- use the internet for enzyme data bases;
- select and apply an enzyme for specific food and biorefinery process;
- understand the effects of enzymes on components present in food and agricultural raw materials;
- predict the course of an enzymatic process by kinetic calculations;
- design, carry out and evaluate experiments with enzymes.


Active participation to formal lectures. Participation to tutorials in which a case will be studied dealing with an enzyme that has been recognized by the student to be important for food processing and biorefinery, (identification, mode of action, production and application). For this, enzyme data bases on the internet will be assessed. Participation in a laboratory class in which groups of two students study the enzymatic conversion of a raw material (choice, characterization and design of application).


The final grade is based on:
- a written theory examination;
- a written report of laboratory classes;
- an oral presentation and an assessment of practical work.


Course guide, Reader.
Handouts of lecture slides and hand-outs for laboratory class work are provided via Blackboard.
Reader and course guide will be provided via the WUR-shop and are available via Blackboard.

Compulsory for: MBTBiotechnologyMScB: Food Biotechnology5MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScA: Food Biotechnology and Biorefining5MO
Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScE: Environmental and Biobased Biotechnology5MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScE: Dairy Science and Technology5MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScD: Ingredient Functionality5MO