NFOK21001U Plants for Foods – Processing and Functionality

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Food Science and Technology


This course will address the rising need and demand for more sustainable foods. The focus will be on enzymatic technologies and chemical/physical processes to obtain foods and ingredients from plants and other non-animal resources to be used in traditional food products as well as in innovative, novel products. The biochemistry of plant resources relevant for functionality in processing technologies will also be covered. Technology areas covered will be extraction and separation of the main food constituents (protein, carbohydrate, lipids, and other minor fractions) using physical/chemical processing and/or enzymatic processing. Important issues like nutritional composition and value, anti-nutrients, flavours and off-flavours will likewise be covered.   

The course will engage students in the development and innovation of new sustainable products applying the knowledge and skills obtained in the course, as students will work with various aspects of composition, enzymatic and chemical transformation of resources needed for production of selected foods. Sustainability aspects of these plant based foods will also be included.


Tentative Modules

  • The sources and nutritional composition of foods of plant origin and current consumption recommendations.
  • Plant resources as food ingredients: Diversity and extraction of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
  • Enzymatic, chemical and physical processing of plant resources for foods or ingredients.
  • Nutritional value, anti-nutrients, flavours and off-flavours.
  • Other processing technologies: High pressure and extrusion.
  • Sensory aspects of plant-based foods.
  • Sustainability: LCA assessment/basic principle and circular economy.
Learning Outcome

The overall aim is to provide the students with basic knowledge on plant foods and ingredients, and how plants are composed with respect to major and minor food constituents as well as nutritional and anti-nutritional values. A major aspect will be processing using enzymatic and chemical /physical technologies, and how this addresses the needs for sustainable, healthy, and tasty foods.



  • Describe the importance of foods derived from plants for a well-balanced human diet and for environmental sustainability relative to other food sources.
  • Identify the composition of plant resources relevant for food and food technologies.
  • Demonstrate ability to apply enzymatic and chemical understanding to properties relevant for extraction, processing of plant sources in food technology.
  • Understand and explain the processes that foods of plant-origin undergo:
    • Understanding of fractionation and separation.
    • Understand processing: enzymatic, chemical, physical and microbial.
    • Identify and explain the processes of extrusion, fermentation and high pressure, and their effects on functionality, taste and nutritional quality.



  • Apply basic knowledge of food source composition and nutritional quality for development of new foods and ingredients based on a variety of plant resources.
  • Develop innovative foods focusing on healthiness and sustainability.
  • Apply the processes of extraction, using enzymatic, chemical and physical processing.



  • Work independently and make intelligent use of scientific literature to make use of plant resources in food.
  • Timely respond to societal trends referring to food innovation and needs for plant-based foods.
  • Contribute with scientific evidence towards public recommendations and policy.
  • Collaborate and contribute effectively in teamwork.
  • Explain circular economy in the context of environmental sustainability.

Primary scientific papers and reviews will accompany all lectures and exercises. These papers define the curriculum and are thus exam relevant.

It is recommended to have competences within quality of raw food materials and food chemistry.
Also it is an advantage to have skills within Cell biology, Biochemistry and Processing.
Ability to work in groups.
The core teaching is comprised of lectures delivered by a wide range of teachers, including invited industrial guest lecturers. These are supplemented by journal clubs and initial laboratory exercises resulting in group report 1. The lectures and laboratory exercises will form the basis for a final laboratory project performed in groups resulting in a project-report (report 2).
The course is identical to the discontinued course NFOK20001U Foods based on Plants, Algae, and Fungi. Therefore you cannot register for NFOK21001U - Plants for foods – processing and functionality, if you have already passed NFOK20001U Foods based on Plants, Algae, and Fungi.

If you are registered with examination attempts in NFOK20001U Foods based on Plants, Algae, and Fungi without having passed the course, you have to use your last examination attempts to pass the exam in NFOK21001U - Plants for foods – processing and functionality. You have a total of three examination attempts
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 39
  • Preparation
  • 125
  • Theory exercises
  • 21
  • Practical exercises
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 min
Type of assessment details
Individual oral exam (no preparation). The exam tests the student’s ability to discuss the scientific underpinning composition, biochemical processing and functionalization of foods and ingredients from plant resources.

The exam comprises two main parts: 1) Presentation and discussion of the experimental project-report; and 2) A question inspired by the lectures and based on one of the curriculum papers typically with a focus on methods and data interpretation. Approximately half of the time will be spent on discussing the project-report and the other half discussing questions related to the lecture papers. The assessment is based on the oral examination.
Exam registration requirements

The two reports will have to be submitted and approved as a requirement for participating in the exam.

Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examinors.

Same as ordinary. If the requirements are not met, the reports must be revised and handed in individually 2 weeks before re-exam and must be approved.


Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome