TOX-30306 Food Toxicology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised44
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Punt
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. A Punt
prof. dr. AJ Murk
prof. dr. RA Woutersen
prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens
MG Boersma
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Punt
prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

TOX-20303, CBI-20306 or FHM-22806

Continuation courses:

Thesis Toxicology, Internship Toxicology


Lectures involve all aspects of food toxicology, including all routes of contamination of the food chain, from drinking water till raw materials, preservation and processing, genetic modification, novel food toxicology, and use of functional ingredients (functional foods) . Attention is paid on natural toxins in food plants and animals, cancer modulating substances, mycotoxins, and all groups of contaminants such as pesticides, persistant organic pollutants (POP's), metals, packagings materials, hormones and animal drug residues. Also the role of genetic polymorphisms, gender, and lifestyle factors on the sensitivity of humans for toxic compounds, and biomarkers to assess these effects are included. Included are the effects of food on drugs efficacy and on biotransformation of xenobiotic compounds, the presence of psychotrophic compounds in food. In discussion groups attention is paid on risk assessment of natural compounds and additives and contaminants in different food items, and risk-benefit analysis for functional food ingredients and food supplements.
In the practical course important toxicological methods and several innovative toxicological approaches are demonstrated, and toxicological experiments are performed using in vitro methods.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- describe the historical development of risks related to food consumption;
- obtain global understanding of, and explain in writing the occurrence of toxic compounds, and the routes of contamination of the food chain, and the mechanisms of toxic action of these compounds;
- describe the most important natural toxins in food plants and animals, and to be able to explain the role of natural toxins in nature;
- be aware of the regular presence of natural contaminants like bacterial toxins and mycotoxins, and of environmental and industrial contaminants and pesticides in the food chain, and to be able to understand and explain their mechanism of toxic action;
- be able to illustrate the presence of toxic substances in drinking water;
- understand and apply the principles of toxicological risk assessment, in particular with respect to risk-benefit analysis of functional foods, and risk assessment of genetically modified foods, enabling to explain the results of a risk assessment in an oral presentation and a written report.


Lectures, working lectures and practicals.


Written examination.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMSc4WD
Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScA: Cell Biology4WD
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScA: Biomedical Research4WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology4WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health4WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status4WD