Spectroscopic measurement techniques have several advantages to classic chemical and chromatographic measurement techniques:
- Rapid: This is an advantage for at-line Quality Control (QC) and for monitoring process dynamics
- Non-destructive: This facilitates measurements on intact samples which is a requirement for on-line and in-line measurements
- Environmentally friendly: In contrast to chromatographic methods, spectroscopic methods require no sample preparation and thus use no chemicals and make no harm to the environment
- Multivariate: Typically, a large number of wavelengths are measured simultaneously, which makes it possible to exploit the first order data advantage and to measure several quality parameters simultaneously
- Remote: This is an advantage which allows for non-contact 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 rapid quality control and 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. It is endorsed by the FDA for use in the pharmaceutical industry as a key technology in Process Analytical Technology (PAT). Spectral sensors in combination with multivariate data analysis have the potential to minimize raw material use, energy and waste in most manufacturing processes. This has the potential to provide a major contribution to the future sustainable production. These tools are some of the most important elements in the future transition to digital food manufacturing and industry 4.0 manufacturing solutions.
Through lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises, the course will introduce and familiarize the students to/with the most widely used spectroscopic techniques spanning a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum including visual (VIS) , near infrared (NIR), infrared (IR), Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
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 an efficient tool for investigating biological processes in industry, humans and plants. Furthermore, the methods have the potential to ensure a sustainable production, since they can optimize processes and hereby reduce the raw material need together with reduction in the energy and water use (targeting especially the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, but also SDG 3: Zero Hunger).
MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
MSc Programme in Biotechnology
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, 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, and hands-on
experience on how to work with spectroscopic data in a practical
After completing the course the student should be able to:
- 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
- Suggest and apply spectroscopic monitoring equipment and sampling to solve specific problems, including on-line real-time applications
- Operate selected spectroscopic equipment and application to complex biological matrices
- Understand and communicate spectroscopic expert and research literature to fellow students
- Reflect on advantages and disadvantages of spectroscopic
measurements and their applicability in an on-line setting.
- Carry out selected spectroscopic measurements on complex biological samples
- Interpret selected spectroscopic data from biological samples and process streams
- Evaluate spectroscopic data quantitatively with basic chemometrics (PCA and PLS).
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 students. Each group of students will be assigned a quantitative sample series using a mixture of complex substances of biological origin to be investigated. The data has to be evaluated and presented in a written group report followed by an oral individual examination.
See Absalon for a list of course literature.
Fundamental qualifications within analytical food quality
control methods and within exploratory data analysis / chemometrics
(similar to the course NFOB16000U Exploratory Data Analysis /
Chemometrics) are highly recommended.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written assignment, during courseOral examination, 20 min
- Type of assessment details
- 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%). Both the group report and the oral examination must be
passed in order to pass the course.
Weight: Project report 50%, Oral examination 50%.
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment
See Learning Outcome
Single subject courses (day)
- Theory exercises
- Practical exercises
- Project work
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
- Department of Food Science
- Faculty of Science
- Søren Balling Engelsen (2-82744f757e7e733d7a843d737a)
- Violetta Aru (8-786b716e677676634268717166306d7730666d)
Local teachers from FOOD and invited industrial guest lecturers.
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