FOOD PROTEINS: Significance, Reactions and Modifications

This course will give an overview of the composition, structure and properties of the main proteins from plant and animal origin, using examples from meat, dairy, and legume. Chemical reactions that result from processing and other treatments and their effect on protein structure and properties will be discussed, together with the advanced techniques used to analyze and quantify these changes.

Organised by Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Wageningen University
Venue Department of Food Sciences, Denmark


The course will provide state of the art knowledge within food proteins, particularly on the functional properties and modifications occurring during processing, storage and digestion, as well as on methods used to detect and/or quantify these modifications. Enzymatic hydrolysis and selected health aspects will also be included. The focus will be on milk, meat and legume proteins as well as new protein sources.

Lectures and demonstrations during the on-campus week include the following topics:
• Characteristics of proteins
• Overview of food proteins
• Structure and functionality of selected proteins, such as milk proteins, meat proteins and legume proteins as well as new protein sources (algae)
• Common protein reactions in foods, such as denaturation, oxidation, glycation, and interactions with polyphenols
• Advanced methods to reveal these
• Aggregation and foaming and emulsification properties of selected proteins and effects of modifications
• Enzymatic hydrolysis of food proteins
• Digestion and health impacts of food proteins


After completion, the course participants should have obtained thorough knowledge about the most important food proteins and their reactions, and be able to predict their behaviour in simple food systems. They should also be able to engage in discussions on methods suitable for analysis of proteins and modified proteins.


The course consists of lectures and colloquia where students and teachers give presentations to be discussed in plenum. Before the course, the course literature should be studied and a short project presentation (5 minutes) should be prepared.

Visit the course page for more information and/or registration