FCH-31806 Advanced Biochemical Analysis of Foods


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. PA Wierenga
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. SM van Ruth
prof. dr. HA Schols
dr. S Sforza
dr. ir. PA Wierenga
dr. ir. NW van den Brink
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PA Wierenga

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FCH-20806 Food Chemistry or ORC-11806 Analytical Methods in Organic Chemistry or FHM-22806 Food Hazards.

Continuation courses:

MSC theses within MFT/MFS.


Analysis of components in food materials is important for research, as well as for quality control, and to trace the origin of food materials. In each of these applications, the major issue is to be sure that you actually analyse those and only those compounds on which you need information. Since food products typically have a very heterogeneous composition (different classes of components, but also variants of the same molecules) the identification and quantification of specific compounds is often not straightforward. In this course, the student will learn a range of techniques that is used for a range of components. The basics of these techniques will be explained, as well as the applications, and examples how these are used in industry (quality assurance / quality control), or in academic research.
Examples are:
- Field of application:
Quality Control (choice of method); Food Research and Development; Tracing and tracking (GMO); Authenticity; Allergens; Bio-functionality/ components; chemical food safety.
- Techniques:
Gross-compositional analysis: Near infra-red, Dumas, total sugar, total phenolics; MS, Chromatography, sample preparation;Fingerprinting: Proteomics (LC-MS); Isotope analysis, chemometrics, NMR; Immuno-assays; Chemical: LC-MS, sample preparation; Biological: Cell cultures, bio(chemical) assays.
- Case/Example:
Melamin / milk; Maillard; Soy; Parmasan-cheese; Extraction; Health claims/ EFSA pesticides, marine biotoxins, dioxins.
To understand how these techniques are used, and how the results should be evaluated, the lectures will provide detailed information about the background and sensitivities of the different methods. In the laboratory classes, the students will work with the analysis of different types of specific compounds from extracts from food products. The focus will be on the effects of sample preparation and choice of analytical method (and conditions used during analysis) on the outcome of the results.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain which analytical techniques are typically applied in different fields;
- describe the basic principles of analytical methods;
- select the analytical techniques needed to study different compounds;
- interpret results from analytical methods;
- identify errors in results from analytical methods.


The course consists of three parts:
- lectures (covering a.o. mass spectrometry, chromatography, proteomics, chemometrics, biological assays);
- laboratory classes and participation in small groups to analyse data provided.


The final grade is based on:
- a written theory examination (80%);
- a written report of laboratory classes and an assessment of the laboratory classes (20%).
Both parts should be passed with a minimal mark 5.0 (combined average at least 5.5), and the group work should be completed.


Course guide.

Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScG: Sensory Science5AF
MFTFood TechnologyMScD: Ingredient Functionality5AF
MFSFood SafetyMScA: Applied Food Safety5AF