FCH-20806 Food Chemistry


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Knowledge clip0
Independent study0
E-learning material0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. J Diederen
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. J Diederen
dr. M Hennebelle
dr. ir. PA Wierenga
dr. ir. MA Kabel
MSc WJC de Bruijn
Examiner(s)dr. ir. J Diederen
dr. JP Vincken

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

FCH-11306 Nutritional Aspects of Foods;
ORC-12803 Organic Chemistry 1;
ORC-12903 Organic Chemistry 2.

Continuation courses:

FCH-30306 Food Ingredient Functionality;
FCH-30806 Advanced Food Chemistry;
FCH-31306 Enzymology for Food and Biorefinery.


Note: This course has a maximum number of students. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See Academic Year.(http://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendar-Academic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses
This course is an introduction to the chemistry of foods, more specifically about the chemistry of groups of compounds present in food: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, phenolic compounds and enzymes. You will learn about the chemical changes that take place during storage and processing of agricultural crops and food. In addition, during the laboratory classes, you will learn about the design of experiments and the analysis of the composition of food products. Also, every student will write her/his own (scientific) lab report. Food technologists should be able to estimate the relevance of various chemical and enzymatic processes by making calculations. To practice this part of food chemistry, the quantification of specific reactions will be practised in calculation cases.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize the molecular structures of the most common food components and their reaction products;
- recognize and understand the generic functional and chemical properties of the most common food components;
- understand the chemical reactions occurring during food processing;
- understand how reactive groups of food components play an important role in chemical reactions;
- describe the influence of processing conditions on chemical reaction and on the properties of food components;
- describe the effect of chemical reactions on the characteristics of food in a qualitative sense;
- apply generic mathematical concepts on experimental data to make quantitative judgments of the effect of reactions on the quality of food;
- choose between the most common analytical methods and techniques to analyse specific food compounds;
- conduct experiments to analyse the effect of processing on food compounds and be able to interpret and report on the results of these experiments.


The course consist of three parts:
- introduction lectures, knowledge clips and closing tutorials;
- digital calculations cases and exercises;
- laboratory classes, including writing a scientific lab report.


The final grade is based on:
- exam grade (50% closed questions on computer, 40% written open questions, 10% calculation exam): 75% of course grade;
- lab grade (lab report and performance during lab classes): 25% of course grade;
To pass the course, both the exam grade and the lab grade should be 5.50 or higher. The partial grades (for the lab classes and for the calculation exam) are valid for 5 years.


Course book is available in the Study Store (Forum). All other learning materials are available through Brightspace.

Compulsory for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc2MO
Restricted Optional for: BBTBiotechnologyBSc2MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScF: Spec. F - Food Digestion and Health2MO
Compulsory for: WUFTEBSc Minor Food Technology2MO