FCH-38306 Biofunctional Food Ingredients


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work6
Course coordinator(s)dr. CM Araya Cloutier
Lecturer(s)dr. JP Vincken
dr. CM Araya Cloutier
Examiner(s)dr. CM Araya Cloutier
dr. JP Vincken

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FCH-20806 Food Chemistry, FCH-11306 Nutritional Aspects of Foods (or similar)


This course is focussed on novel (fashionable) developments in the food industry, which are aimed at improving intrinsic health through the use of biofunctional ingredients. Biofunctional ingredients are biologically active ingredients that provide a desirable function in the body, beyond nutrition. Frequently, biofunctional ingredients are small secondary metabolites from plants, such as phenolic compounds and small peptides. During this course, students will get insights into diverse biofunctional food ingredients such as hormone look-alikes, cholesterol-lowering substances, cardiovascular health promoters, antimicrobials, and immunomodulators. The course elaborates on the concepts underlying the biofunctionality of food ingredients, such as structure-function relationships, molecular mechanisms, bioavailability, microbial transformation, and controlled delivery. In addition to lectures, biofunctional ingredients will be study using an in-silico approach. Students will learn basic molecular modelling and chemoinformatic tools, such as molecular docking, pharmacophore modelling, and quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). These tools will allow the students to visualise and evaluate the biofunctionality of food ingredients at a molecular level (e.g. what are key molecular properties of biofunctional ingredients; which molecular interactions are essential for biofunctional ingredients to exert activity). Furthermore, these in-silico tools will be used to predict the biofunctionality of new food ingredients.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- explain why ingredients with similar chemical structure can have different (or no) bio-functionality;

- explain the mechanism of biofunctional ingredients and the physiological considerations for their correct application;

- analyse in-silico important physicochemical properties of biofunctional ingredients;

- design and evaluate a quantitative model for predicting the structure-function relationships of (new) biofunctional ingredients;

- design an in-silico experiment to decide which ingredient provides the best biofunctionality.


- active participation during plenary lectures.

- guided tutorials to learn basic tools of molecular modelling.

- conducting case studies in which biofunctional ingredients will be studied using molecular modelling tools (group work).

- presenting results of case studies.


The final grade is based on:
- written examination (75%), consisting of about 50% closed questions and 50% open questions.
- evaluation of case studies (25%).
To pass the course, both the exam grade and case study grade should be 5.00 or higher (combined average at least 5.50). The partial grade (for the case study) is valid for 5 years.


All learning material is available in Brightspace.

Keuze voor: MFTFood TechnologyMScA: Spec. A - Product Design and Ingredient Functionality2MO