NFOK14021U Food Enzymes and Applications

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health


Enzymes are increasingly applied in both food and non-food industries. Advantages obtained by the use of enzymes are the mild reaction conditions, lower risk of toxic by-products, and their great specificity. In food manufacture, enzymes are often applied as processing aids to improve the yield, texture, taste or other quality aspects. The course will be of benefit for students within food technology, biotechnology and related areas.

The main objective of the course is to provide a sound background for the application of enzymes for processing and improvement of foods with focus on the major food groups (dairy, meat and cereal foods and drinks). In addition, the possible advantages and disadvantages of enzymes endogenous in the foods will be emphasised. Major features of enzymes and properties behind their specificity and enzyme assays will be treated theoretically as well as by practical training.

The course will treat the most important food enzymes such as oxidoreductases and hydrolases (proteases, lipases, pectinases, amylases, etc.) with respect to structural and functional properties, catalysis, reaction kinetics and enzyme-substrate specificity.
Focus will be on enzyme applications for processing and improvement of foods within the fields of Food Chemistry, Plant Food Science, Dairy Technology and Meat Technology, specifically on the influence of enzymes on chemical and physical changes in foods with respect to preservation of quality and processing of foods.

This comprises two aspects, i.e. 1) enzymes present in foods (milk, meat, fruits and cereals) with major influence on their processing quality, and 2) major exogenous enzymes used in the processsing of these foods into high quality foods and drinks.

Learning Outcome

After completion of the course the student should be able to:

- List the enzyme classes and describe the general effect of enzymes and their regulation
- Describe the mechanism behind the specificity of enzymes
- Describe the major enzymes present in selected foods (milk, meat, wheat and barley) and their influence on the quality of the final products
- describe the mostly used enzymes in the production of selected dairy foods, meat products, bread, beer and food ingredients (glucose syrup, lipids and protein hydrolysates), as well as their function in those products
- provide examples of assays suitable for measurement of various types of enzyme activity and explain the underlying principles

- Explain the background for the pH and temperature optimum of enzymes and the nature of co-factors
- Perform laboratory work and handle selected techniques and methods applied in characterisation and use of enzymes
- Design practical work with enzymes, e.g. including use of enzyme assays, and evaluate results obtained
- Apply relevant literature and communicate experiments performed, and results and conclusions obtained within the enzymatic biochemical area in the form of a paper

- Cooperate with fellow students about the design, performance and reporting of lab experiments with enzymes and discussion and presentation of obtained results
- Perform and evaluate simple analyses comprising enzymatically catalysed reactions

Compendium with selected book chapters and articles
and supplementary material (indicated in Absalon)

Biochemistry and food chemistry as well as lab experience corresponding to LKEB10077 "Biokemi 1" and LLEA100273 "Fødevarekemi".
The course will consist of lectures, practicals and possibly an excursion.
This is a hands-on course with experimental exercises on applications of food enzymes practised in small projects. The student will be introduced to several classic enzyme assays and become familiar with quantification of enzyme activity and determination of substrate conversion. The practical exercises will be supported by lectures to provide the necessary theoretical background for the students to carry out the experimental work. Some theoretical exercises and problems will also be touched upon.
Part of the teaching might be given at Novozymes
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 50
  • Excursions
  • 6
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 64
  • Project work
  • 50
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during course
Two reports from practicals will be evaluated separately (for each student) and each counts 15% in the final grade.
A final paper is made based on the project performed; this counts 70% in the final grade.
Exam registration requirements

Presence at 80% of the lectures, and 90% in practical exercises and other activities
Approval of all reports from practicals
Oral presentation of project and discussion with other groups

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner

The reexamination will normally consist of submitting the final individual paper (again).
The criteria for participation in the reexamination are the same as those or ordinairy examination. It is not possible to participate in the reexamination if the practicals and the lab project have not been performed. In this case the student will need to sign in for the course again.

Criteria for exam assesment

Evaluation of reports is based on inclusion of relevant curriculum and thourough description of materials and methods as well as suitable presentation and discussion of results.
Evaluation of the final paper is based on the following criteria:
- The project has been planned, conducted and results evaluated with a great deal of independence and overview.
- The experimental part is based on considerations concerning equipment, method and quality assurance with respect to type of results obtained and validity of them.
- Results have been treated statistically and evaluated with inclusion of existing knowledge and literature
- All parts of the project are communicated in English in a comprehensive manner with inclusion of relevant details and according to the guidelines provided (relevant literature is included in the Introduction, Results and discussion sections for comparison and discussion of results obtained;          the Materials and methods section is written as usually for papers; Results have been presentented clearly and without repetitions and unnecessary details).