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Food Structure and Behaviour Programme in The Netherlands


Food Structure and Behaviour

Students will first enrol in a one week intensive team building and communication skills training. This training is exclusively designed for this programme.

The students will spend the months of September – December at Wageningen University. At Wageningen, students will begin the ongoing Team Project, have the opportunity to join excursions to food companies, and complete courses in Food Structure and Behaviour:

 

All courses can be found in the Study Handbook of Wageningen University.

* Course content may change; this information provides a sense of material covered.

 

Food & Ingredient Functionality

This class comprises plenary lectures, case studies and a practical. The class studies the relationships between the structure of raw materials and ingredients and their functionality. Functionality comprises physical, bio-active (health-promoting) and sensory properties. For the most important ingredients and raw material constituents, their contribution to the characteristics of the complex food matrix will be indicated. For bio-active compounds the focus will be on their potential activity in the human body, as well as methods to retain their activity in food.

The following aspects will be covered:

  • Overview of ingredients and their applications
  • Production of ingredients
  • Extent to which ingredients are interchangeable
  • Extent to which ingredients are interchangeable
  • Relationships between chemical and physical properties of ingredients, and their behaviour in model systems and food components
  • Directed ingredient modification to improve functionality

 

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Food Structuring

A large number of food products can be described as complex products, which have to be structured in such a way that the product receives the desired properties.

During this course, you will learn about the existing production processes of those products and gain understanding about the relevant underlying physics and chemistry. Also, transport phenomena inside the products will be studied. The product transformations will be quantified by making justified approximations of the product properties and the process.

The product groups that will be thoroughly studied are emulsions containing oil and water, and soft solid materials containing biopolymers. At the end of the course, an outlook will be given into future trends and developments in the area of multi-phase products and related processes.

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Explain current processes used for the production of a number of complex food products
  • Explain the relevant physics related to those processes
  • Design relevant processes for complex food products
  • Explain the consequences of differences in chemical potential for transfer processes occurring inside the products
  • Analyse the role of the chemical potential in multiphase products
  • Assess future developments in complex food products and innovative process concepts

 

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Advanced Food Physics

This advanced course aims to deepen the student’s insight in the physical properties of foods and the changes that occur during manufacturing and storage. Lectures, practicals and assignments will be used food to study the various subjects.

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between colloidal structure of common food products and their stability and physical properties (viscosity, elasticity, fracture stress, yield stress)
  • Understand how the microstructure of materials is affected by experimental parameters such as temperature, concentration, pH, ionic strength, and solvent quality
  • Select appropriate experimental methods to determine physical properties of foods (viscosity, Young’s modulus, shear modulus, or fracture stress)
  • Apply the understanding of structure-property relationships to analyse data obtained using these experimental methods

 

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Food Components and Health

This is a general nutrition course that addresses the relation between nutrition and human health.
The course includes lectures, tutorials and time for self-study.

The course will address the following aspects:

  • Nutritional physiology: How are macronutrients absorbed, stored, and metabolized for energy?
  • Nutrition and health: How do different types of fats, carbohydrates and proteins affect health? What is the specific role of vitamins and minerals? What happens when nutrients are taken in excess or in the case of nutrient deficiency?
  • Nutrition and lifecycle/lifestyle: What are the specific dietary needs of certain populations (infants, pregnant women, elderly, athletes)?
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