FCH-21806 Food Related Allergies and Intolerances


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion4
Practical intensively supervised21
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. PA Wierenga
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. RJ Hamer
prof. dr. ir. HFJ Savelkoul
prof. dr. HJ Wichers
Examiner(s)prof. dr. RJ Hamer
prof. dr. ir. HFJ Savelkoul
prof. dr. HJ Wichers

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Cell Biology I (CBI-10306), Nutritional Aspects of Foods (FCH-11306) or Nutrition and Health III (HNE-11306)

Continuation courses:

Food Ingredient Functionality (FCH-30306)


This course comprises plenary lectures: first introducing the topic and its relevance to both nutritionists and food technologists; second providing background knowledge of adverse reactions to food components: mechanisms, prevalence, diagnosis and clinical symptoms; and third focusing on the food components causing such adverse reactions: 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? In addition, a practical will be given focusing on analytical aspects of allergens and methods for their elimination. The course will finish with a case study in which all these aspects are integrated.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- understand the mechanism of action of major food allergens and other constituents causing adverse reactions;
- understand the difference between allergic and intolerance reactions;
- assess the risks involved in using food raw materials containing potential allergens;
- understand how such components can be avoided or eliminated and how a basic process eliminating such components could be designed;
- understand the fate of allergens in the food chain and assess risks of cross contamination during food production and develop preventive measures;
- understand and apply regulations with regard to such components, food labelling and consumer information;
- assess the dietary consequences of avoiding specific allergen containing food ingredients.


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 grade is based on a written theory exam (80%) and the evaluation of the practical course (10%). The theory exam consists of a biochemical and an immunological part that need to be passed both with a grade higher or equal 5 and an average of bigger or equal 6.
The marks for the practical course and the group work will be based on the respective presentations


Study guide, reader.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMSc2AF
Restricted Optional for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc2AF
MFTFood TechnologyMScI: Gastronomy2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status2AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology2AF
Compulsory for: WUFAOBSc Minor Foods of Animal Origin2AF
WUFHDBSc Minor Food, Intestinal Homeostasis and Disease2AF
Restricted Optional for: WUFTEBSc Minor Food Technology2AF