FCH-21806 Food Related Allergies and Intolerances


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. M Hennebelle
Lecturer(s)dr. M Hennebelle
prof. dr. HJ Wichers
prof. dr. ir. HFJ Savelkoul
dr.ir. PL Weegels
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PA Wierenga
dr. M Hennebelle

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CBI-10306 Cell Biology;
FCH-11306 Nutritional Aspects of Foods or HNH-11306 Nutritional Assessment of Foods.

Continuation courses:

FCH-30306 Food Ingredient Functionality.


This course comprises plenary lectures, case studies, tutorials and a laboratory class. The lectures first introduce the topic and its relevance to both nutritionists and food technologists. Secondly background knowledge is provided of adverse reactions to food components: mechanisms, prevalence, diagnosis and clinical symptoms. Thirdly the food components causing such adverse reactions are discussed: their identity and origin, prevalence and technological and chemical ways to eliminate or inactivate such components from food. In this respect we will also deal with regulatory (and labelling) aspects. The plenary lectures will finish by discussing the consumer susceptible to such components: how can he/she avoid exposure, what are the dietary consequences? The laboratory classes focus on analytical aspects of allergens and methods for their elimination. The case study integrates the different aspects.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the mechanism of action of major food allergens and other constituents causing adverse reactions and distinguish between allergic and intolerance reactions;
- assess the risks involved in using food raw materials containing potential allergens;
- assess the dietary consequences of avoiding specific allergen containing food ingredients;
- describe how such components can be avoided or eliminated and design a basic process to eliminate such components;
- describe which assays can be used for identification of allergens, how they work and what their strong and weak points are;
- apply knowledge of regulations with regard to such components, food labelling and consumer information.


- active participation during plenary lectures, self-study of relevant theory;
- participation in practical in which the student conducts experiments, interprets data and prepares a presentation;
- participation in case study where examples from practice are studied 'full circle';
- presentation of the results.


The final mark must be 5.5 or higher, and is based on:
- theory exam with multiple choice questions, biochemical part (40%), immunological part (40%), where the mark for each part must be 5.0 or higher;
- reports and presentations of practical part (10%) and case studies group work (10%).
The viewing moment is directly after the exam, since the results will be directly shown on the computer after you finish the exam.

The partial grades (for lab classes and case studies) are valid for 5 years.


Reader is available in the WUR-shop. All other learning material is available in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMScA: Applied Food Safety2AF
Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScI: Gastronomy2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScD: Sensory Science2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScF: Food Digestion and Health2AF
Compulsory for: WUFAOBSc Minor Foods of Animal Origin2AF
WUFHDBSc Minor Food, Intestinal Homeostasis and Disease2AF