NFOK14025U Quantitative Bio-spectroscopy

Volume 2014/2015
MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
MSc Programme in Biology-Biotechnology
MSc Programme in Animal-derived Foods (Food of Life)

Spectroscopic measurement techniques have a number of advantages to classic chemical and chromatographic measurement techniques:

Rapid (can be used to monitor process dynamics and an advantage for Quality control(QC) logistics)
Non-destructive (facilitate measurements on intact sample structures and a requirement for on-line measurements)
Environmentally friendly (no use of chemicals and no harm to the environment)
Multivariate (exploit first order data advantage and gives the possibility of measuring several quality parameters simultaneously)
Remote (allow for volumetric measurements and 'through packaging' measurements)

The Danish food, pharma and biotech industries have in recent years shown a steadily increased interest in developing and adapting spectroscopic measurement techniques for on-line monitoring of their processes in real time. The advantages of using non-destructive spectroscopic measurement techniques may give significant improvements in raw material grading, product and process knowledge, quality and safety and have recently been endorsed by the FDA for use in the pharmaceutical industry as 'Process Analytical Technologies, PAT'. It is therefore almost certain that future food, pharma and biotech candidates will find themselves with problems that best can be solved by using spectral sensors. The spectral sensors can also in the food process industry as well as in food legislation bureaus.

Through lectures and laboratory exercises, the course will introduce the students to the most widely used spectroscopic techniques spanning a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum including visual (VIS), fluorescence, near infrared (NIR), infrared (IR), Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Course relevance
The course is of prime importance to the food, pharma and biotech candidate education as on-line process monitoring becomes more and more widespread in the advanced segment of the industry and because spectroscopy constitutes a new efficient tool for investigating biological processes in humans and plants.

The course relates closely with the course in exploratory data analysis (chemometrics) and is compulsory for the master Food Science and Technology specialization in Process Analytical Technology (PAT). The course is considered basic for students who wish to study plant or human metabolomics.

Learning Outcome

The main objective of this course is to make the student familiar with the basic concepts and physics of the most abundant non-destructive spectroscopic techniques utilized for on- or at-line process monitoring and quality control in the modern food, pharma or biotech-industry. The course is designed to give the student basic theoretical background and hands-on experience with fluorescence, VIS, NIR, IR, Raman and NMR spectroscopy. The course will emphasize practical use of spectroscopy and discuss problems, pitfalls and tricks of the trade in relation to quantitative use of spectroscopy including for example spectroscopic calibration and optimal sample presentation to spectrometer.

After completing the course the student should be able to:

-Reflect about advantages and disadvantages of spectroscopic measurements
-Describe various spectroscopic methods (electron spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance)
-Define how to present a theoretical or practical spectroscopic result
-Perform spectroscopic measurements and data analysis (qualitatively and quantitatively) on selected biological mixture problems

-Suggest and apply spectroscopic monitoring equipment and sampling to solve specific problems
-Operate selected spectroscopic equipment and application to complex biological material
-Understand and communicate spectroscopic expert and research literature to fellow students

-Carry out selected spectroscopic measurements on complex biological samples
-Interpret selected spectroscopic data from biological samples
-Evaluate spectroscopic data quantitatively with basic chemometrics (PCA and PLS)

Compendium will be distributed the first course day

Competences corresponding to the course Exploratory Data Analysis / Chemometrics - LLEF10174
The course will be taught in a combination of lectures, theoretical exercises and practical laboratory exercises. The different spectral measurement techniques will be taught through lectures and examples on specific applications in the industry via selected guest lecturers. The laboratory exercises will be performed in small groups of maximum four persons. Each group of students will be assigned a quantitative sample series using a mixture of complex substances of biological origin (f. ex. proteins, fats, carbohydrates or water) to be investigated by spectroscopic methods. The data has to be evaluated with basic chemometrics methods such as PCA (principal component regression) and PLS (partial least squares regression) and presented in a written group report followed by an oral examination.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Practical exercises
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 35
  • Project work
  • 65
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min
The students will be evaluated on basis of a written group report with clear indication of individual contributions (50%) and a following final individual oral examination based on a presentation and discussion of the report and the course curriculum (50%).

Weight: Project report 50%, Oral examination 50%.
Exam registration requirements
Theoretical exercises approved.
Participation in article review.
Participation in practical exercises.
Submission of spectroscopy report.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assesment

Fullfilment of learning outcomes