Food Proteins

This course provides an overview of the extraction process, chemistry, composition, and structure-function properties of proteins from different sources. Analytical techniques to investigate protein chemistry and functionality will also be thoroughly discussed.

Organised by VLAG Graduate School in cooperation with the Biobased Chemistry & Technology group of Wageningen University and the Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen

Mon 29 January 2024 until Fri 2 February 2024

Venue Wageningen Campus, Wageningen, the Netherlands
The next edition of this course is expected 27-31 January 2025


Many discussions revolve around the replacement of animal proteins with plant-based or precision fermentation-derived alternatives. But why is this necessary, and can we realistically achieve it?

Proteins are highly complex compounds, requiring extensive multidisciplinary research for a comprehensive understanding of their properties. Even now, we haven't fully mastered the properties of dairy proteins, let alone newer protein sources entering the scene, such as pea or rapeseed proteins. Questions abound: Are these proteins soluble? Can they be used in emulsions, gels, or meat analogs? How do phospholipids and phenolics affect protein functionality? And what role does processing play?

The literature on this topic can be confusing, pointing out the need for a systematic investigation.

Course aim

The course is designed to foster an understanding of the functioning of proteins in food and the impact of different food process steps on their functionality. Additionally, we will explore the analytical techniques employed to reveal such alterations. By the end of the course, participants will have acquired comprehensive knowledge about food proteins and their characteristics. They will also gain the ability to predict how these proteins behave in basic food systems.

Target group

The course is aimed at PhD candidates and young researchers working in food research, as well as scientists from industries working with food proteins.

Course design

The course comprises various components, including lectures, case studies, presentations, and peer discussions. To kick off the course, every participant is required to give a brief 5-minute presentation about their project and the goals they hope to achieve through the course

Programme topics

The lectures and demonstrations in this course cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to food proteins: We'll provide an overview and discuss their key characteristics.
  • Understanding protein structure/function relation: We'll focus on specific proteins and how they work.
  • Protein modelling: We’ll discuss techniques used for the computational simulations of proteins.
  • Common protein reactions in food: You'll learn about typical protein-related reactions in different foods.
  • Advanced techniques for detecting protein changes: We'll explore analytical methods to identify protein modifications.
  • The impact of proteins on health and nutrient availability: You'll also study how proteins affects health and the availability of nutrients.

Course coordinators

  • Dr Costas Nikiforidis, Biobased Chemistry & Technology, Wageningen University & Research
  • Prof Marianne Nissen Lund, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen

Other faculty

  • Dr Mahesha Poojary, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen
  • Dr Julia Keppler, Food Process Engineering, Wageningen University & Research
  • Gijs Vreeke MSc, Food Chemistry, Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr Jack Yang, Physics and Physical Chemistry of Foods, Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr Elke Scholten, Physics and Physical Chemistry of Foods, Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr Laurice Pouvreau, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr Renko de Vries, Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter, Wageningen University & Research
  • Prof Lisette de Groot, Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University & Research

Date & duration

The course will be held from 29 January - 2 February 2024.

Study load

The study load of this course is 1.3 ECTS.


The course language will be English

Contact information:

For organisational questions, please contact

Jochem Jonkman: +31-317-489549 (

Location & Accommodation

The course takes place on Wageningen Campus. The town of Wageningen is 5 km from Ede-Wageningen railway station, from which there is a regular bus service to the city centre of Wageningen. The Ede-Wageningen railway station can be reached by train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in about one hour. For train schedules visit:


Hotel WICC

Hotel de Nieuwe Wereld

Hotel de Wageningse Berg

Hotel de Wereld

Other accomodation:

Short Stay Wageningen

Bed & breakfast Wageningen

Registration & course fee

You can register for the course at

The final registration date is 1 January 2024.

NB: there are only a few spots available. Registration will be accepted in the order in which the registration form is received. You will be notified on acceptance of your registration. Additional information will follow afterwards. If the course is full, please contact Jochem Jonkman to indicate your interest and to be placed on a waiting list.

The course fee (which includes coffee/tea during breaks, lunches and one dinner on Tuesday, but does not cover accommodation) depends on the participant's affiliation:

Course fee
VLAG/WUR PhD candidates* 275
All other PhD candidates 500
Postdocs and staff affiliated with VLAG 500
All other postdocs and university staff, as well as non-profit organisations 725
Industry / for-profit organisations 1600

* VLAG/PE&RC/EPS/WIAS/WASS/WIMEK PhD candidates with an approved TSP

Cancellation policy

After acceptance of your registration, the VLAG Cancellation Conditions for course participants will apply.

Preliminary programme Food Proteins 2024 (dec '23 version)