Study Board of Biomolecular Sciences and
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Department of Food Science
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and
Bodil Jørgensen (3-727f7a50807c757e3e7b853e747b)
William George Tycho Willats (7-796b6e6e63767542726e6770306d7730666d)
Teachers from the departments
involved and guest lecturers from other universities.
Saved on the
MSc Programme in
Key topics covered:
functional food ingredients, nutraceuticals, excipients (medical
applications), biocomposites, industrial production of fibres from
plants, monoclonal antibody production; biosynthesis of plant
carbohydrate, biofuel enzyme discovery, rational energy crop
design, starch, pectin, plant cell wall, spectroscopic
Examples of techniques:
carbohydrate microarrays, high-throughput antibody screening;
hydrocolloid rheology (structure function relationships);
high-throughput enzyme screening; immuno-fluoresence microscopy;
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, bioinformatics
relating to the carbohydrate enzyme database (CAZY), viscometric
measurements, molecular modeling.
Carbohydrates have a large impact on plant development and
thereby on cereal based foods or food ingredients that constitutes
the major part of the human diet. Carbohydrates are bioengineered
to make biofuel and bioenergy more efficient. Further carbohydrates
are functionalised in plants and with enzyme processing to generate
new functions, health-associated ones, and intelligent and advanced
This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of plant
carbohydrates and will use an integrated series of lectures and
practical exercises to cover fundamental biology and applied
themes. The key lectures will be provided by members the three
departments involved, but an important feature of the course will
be the involvement of invited external speakers. Students will also
have opportunities to get hands-on practical experience with state
–of-the-art techniques for glycan analysis including carbohydrate
microarrays. The course will be spilt into three consecutive
interrelated modules. Module 1 will deal mostly will
polysaccharides as they occur in plants, especially important food
crops and will cover biosynthesis, diversity, evolution and
structure. Module 2 will concentrate on state of the art analytical
techniques for polysaccharide analysis with a particular emphasis
on relating structure to function and the effects of enzymatic and
chemical modifications. Module 3 will focus on applications of
plant polysaccharides. This will ex. include plant fibres and
health, advanced functional food ingredients, nutraceuticals and
therapeutics, novel bio-materials and the production of plant
polysaccharides within a bio-refinery context.
Module 1: Carbohydrates in planta
• The biological sources of plant carbohydrates
• Plant cell walls
• Carbohydrate biosynthesis
• Carbohydrate evolution and diversity
Module 2: Carbohydrate structure, analysis and functionality
• Relating carbohydrate structure and function
• Carbohydrate active enzymes
• Carbohydrate microarrays
• Glycan recognition, monoclonal antibodies and carbohydrate
• Carbohydrate molecular modelling
• Glycomics, data mining, multivariate data analysis
• Near infra red, infra red-, and Raman spectroscopy
• Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
Module 3: Industrial production of plant carbohydrates and the
impact on human health & nutrition
• Functional food ingredients introduction
• Pectins, carrageenans and other hydrocolloids
• Glucans and arabinoxylans
• Fibre function, resistant starch and health
• Pectin and cancer
The primary outcomes will be a sound knowledge of the biology
and utilization of plant carbohydrates. After completing the
course, students should be able to:
• Describe the processes of carbohydrate biosynthesis, occurrence
and diversity in the plant kingdom (including micro- and
• Demonstrate a practical knowledge of cutting-edge techniques for
carbohydrate analysis, including the construction and use of
carbohydrate microarrays for high throughput screening.
• Describe the activities and importance of industries based on
• Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the use of plant
carbohydrates as functional food ingredients, nutraceuticals,
therapeutics and as novel bio materials.
• Describe the health effects of plant fibres.
• Apply their knowledge to critically assess scientific literature.
• Use selected techniques for carbohydrate analysis.
• Apply their knowledge to evaluate the outcome of carbohydrate
• Describe how fundamental carbohydrate biology is related to
downstream industrial uses.
• Work independently and with scientific literature.
• Prepare and present oral and written work
• Design experiments related to carbohydrate biology and
A mixture of original research papers, reviews articles and text
book chapters. To be announced.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, theoretical and practical exercises.
Report on the laboratory work.