FCH-30306 Food Ingredient Functionality


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Knowledge clip0
Course coordinator(s)ir. MJB Molenaar
dr. ir. PA Wierenga
Lecturer(s)dr. E Scholten
dr. JP Vincken
prof. dr. HA Schols
dr. ir. PA Wierenga
Examiner(s)dr. E Scholten
dr. JP Vincken

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FCH-20806 Food Chemistry;  FPH-20306 Food Physics.

Continuation courses:

MSc thesis Food Chemistry, MSc thesis Food Physics.


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

The course is introduced with a general lecture that describes the driving forces behind innovations in food ingredient technology. Subsequently, the lectures are divided into a technofunctional and a biofunctional part.
- The physical systems which are relevant to food products (various kinds of emulsions, gels, and foams) are described. The various forces/concepts underlying the stability of these systems are discussed in much detail.
- The structure-function relationships of the various classes of food ingredients (polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids/surfactants) are discussed in detail. Much emphasis is put on molecular diversity, i.e. rather subtle structural differences can lead to substantially different properties of particular compounds. For instance, when the label of a product reads pectin, it is often not realized that there are many different kinds of pectin (low-methoxyl, high-methoxyl with a random distribution, high-methoxyl with a blockwise distribution, amidated pectin, etc.) with completely different application targets.
- A number of “challenging” products are discussed in detail. Here, the stability of systems and ingredient choice merge, and the fact that various ingredients can interact with each other becomes much more apparent. This part intends to make you aware of the fact that the food matrix is very complex, and that it is often not possible to replace one compound with another one without affecting the stability of the food system.
This part of the course is focussed on novel (fashionable) developments in the food industry, which are aimed at improving the intrinsic health of consumers. This part intends to elaborate the concepts underlying the bioactivity of several food ingredient, such as probiotics, prebiotics, hormone look-alikes, cholesterol-lowering substances and appetite suppressants. Furthermore, concepts of bioavailability, microbial transformation, slow release, and controlled delivery are explained.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the mechanism of action of techno-functional or bio-functional ingredients;
- argue why ingredients with similar chemical structures can have different techno- and bio-functionalities;
- analyse how ingredient functionality can be influenced by processing;
- argue the effect of interactions between different food ingredients under different conditions;
- design a strategy to identify a group of unknown functional ingredients;
- select and conduct experiments to analyse chemical properties and the techno-functionality of ingredients.
- defend deliberate choices in application of ingredients.


- active participation during plenary lectures;
- learning concepts by knowledge clips;
- self-study of theory;
- conducting digital case studies in which ingredient functionality will be studied with respect to chemical and physical properties;
- literature research;
- participation in laboratory classes in which the student independently designs and conducts experiments, followed by interpretation of the results.
The practical supports the plenary lectures and case studies.


The final grade is based on:
- written examination (75%), consisting of about 50% closed questions and 50% open questions.
- evaluation of practical work/compiling an oral presentation (25%).
To pass the course, both the exam grade and the lab grade should be 5.00 or higher (combined average at least 5.50). The partial grade (for lab classes) is valid for 5 years.


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

Compulsory for: MFTFood TechnologyMScF: European Master in Food Studies1MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScJ: Food Digestion and Health1MO
Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScD: Ingredient Functionality1MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScE: Dairy Science and Technology1MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScC: Product Design1MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScB: Food Innovation and Management1MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScI: Gastronomy1MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScF: Food Digestion and Health1MO