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
M Baccaro
dr. ir. PA Wierenga
prof. dr. HA Schols
MSc WJC de Bruijn
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PA Wierenga
dr. JP Vincken

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

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


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);
- tutorials to practice the course material;
- laboratory classes to apply the obtained knowledge, collect and analyse data and critically reflect on data in the report.


The final grade is based on:
- a written theory examination (80%), (of which 50% multiple choice and 50% open questions);
- 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).
The partial grade (for lab classes) is valid for 5 years.


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Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScG: Spec. G - Sensory Science5AF
MFTFood TechnologyMScA: Spec. A - Product Design and Ingredient Functionality5AF