NFOK14018U Advanced Food Chemistry

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology


The course focuses on the fundamental chemical reactions that affect quality and stability of foods during their processing and storage. The molecular mechanisms of important reactions in foods and beverages will be introduced and discussed using chemical principles.

Central topics will include:

1) Lipid oxidation and antioxidants in heterogeneous food matrices.

2) Protein modifications (oxidation, the Maillard reaction, cross-linking, and interactions with polyphenols).

3) Pigments and photochemical reactions.

4) Interplay among lipid oxidation, protein modification, photochemical reactions, and antioxidants.

5) Effects of complex chemical reactions on macroscopic properties of foods.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course the student should be able to:


  • Describe the reactions at a molecular level that occur during common chemical food deteriorating phenomena.
  • Classify structures and properties of components, ingredients and of chemical reactions that are central in relation to food quality changes.
  • Display overview of specific changes of food components during processing and storage and how to use analytical methods to describe these changes.



  • Relate chemical mechanisms to macroscopic properties of foods
  • Use kinetic principles to explain the mechanisms, which cause modifications or formation of specific components in foods.
  • Suggest preventive measures against food quality changes based on theoretical chemical knowledge.
  • Reading and using original scientific literature, and communicate the obtained knowledge.
  • Interpret and discuss chemical and physical analytical data in relation to food stability.



  • Evaluate stability and predict changes of food chemical quality based on experimental data in combination with knowledge from scientific literature.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.

It will include book chapters, collection of reviews, and original scientific literature.

BSc-level courses in inorganic and organic chemistry as well as biochemistry are recommended. Basic knowledge in the field of food chemistry is strongly recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures, theoretical exercises and project based group activities. Lectures introduce the central topics and students will be working with the topics in more detail during theoretical exercises, that will be based on real food cases. The project-based group activity will go into more detail with a specific topic and will produce a written product (e.g. poster, concept map, or short synopsis) that will be used for the final examination.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 109
  • Theory exercises
  • 36
  • Project work
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Type of assessment details
The written product is a part of the course, but will not be counted for the final grading. The grading is based on the final examination. However, the first half of the exam questions will be based on the written product submitted by the student. The second part of the examination will be based on a question drawn by the student. The exam questions will be announced approximately one week before the exam. No preparation time.
Exam registration requirements

Submission of written product before exam week.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as ordinary exam.

Non-approved or missing written products must be submitted one week before the re-examination.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome.