Food Enzymes and Applications

Course content

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.


MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology

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 what affects their activity
- Describe the mechanism behind the specificity of enzymes
- Describe the major enzymes present in selected foods (milk, meat, and plant-based foods) 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

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.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.

Biochemistry and food chemistry as well as lab experience within the field of biochemistry and food chemistry is recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Part of the teaching might be given at Novozymes

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Written notes will be available for the lab reports (made by groups) and the final paper (individual), and can be seen by contacting the teacher.

Oral feedback are given at the oral presentations of projects performed (in groups) by both peers and supervisors.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 1h
Written assignment, during course
The exam, performed at the Department, is divided into 1) a written examination with questions in the whole curriculum, held after the four first weeks, and 2) a final paper made based on the project performed during the last four weeks; each should be passed separately and counts 50% in the final grade.
Participation in the first general written examination (1) is a prerequisite for evaluation of the final paper (2).
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners, two teachers will evaluate each final paper.
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 113
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Practical exercises
  • 8
  • Excursions
  • 6
  • Project work
  • 50
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206