Past Event

Food and Biorefinery Enzymology

25–29 September 2017
Wageningen, Netherlands


As raw materials for the production of foods are of biological origin, food technologists have always been dealing with enzymes. Enzymes, which are endogenously present in raw materials, have significant effects on processing thereof, as well as on the quality and properties of foods and food ingredients. In some cases these are desired effects, for instance the formation of aroma compounds by the action of lipid converting enzymes, while in other cases these are unwanted, such as enzymatic browning and texture loss in fruit and vegetable products by phenol oxidases and pectinases respectively.

Also, exogenous enzymes are used as processing aids and as tools to produce tailor made food ingredients The number of applications of these exogenous enzymes has developed rapidly; currently a diversity of enzymes is available for use in food processing. Increasingly, enzymes are used as selective tools within biorefinery approaches to effectively process agricultural raw materials into different products, including feedstocks for chemicals and biofuels.

Detailed knowledge of the action of enzymes on a molecular level is essential to identify technologically relevant enzymes, to control- and steer enzymatic processes, and to improve the composition of the rather complex technical enzyme preparations, which are applied in a particular process.

Target group

The course is meant for university graduates interested in food science enzymology, lignocellulosic biochemistry and biotechnology of enzymes, and those with similar background knowledge. The course aims at PhD students, as well as at participants from the industry and research centres.

Course aim

The course aims at providing detailed background information on enzymatic conversion processes with relevance to industries dealing with agricultural raw materials. 

Course design

The course consists of a series of lectures, a study case about proteases, a lab class monitoring enzyme stability, a session with poster presentations and an excursion to DSM ( including a visit to the Bioprocess Pilot Facility ( Ample opportunity will be provided to discuss the food enzymology field.


Programme topics

1. Enzymes and industrial food and biorefinery applications
2. Enzyme classification
3. Discovery and improvement of biorefinery enzymes
4. Oxidative enzymes: laccases, LPMOs
5. Enzymes in biotechnology
6. Enzymatic hydrolysis and crosslinking of proteins, plant cell wall degrading enzymes
7. Spectroscopic analysis of enzyme stability


Course coordinators

  • Dr. M.A. Kabel, Food Chemistry, Wageningen University & Research, NL
  • Prof. W.J.H. van Berkel, Biochemistry, Wageningen University & Research, NL

Other faculty

  • Dr. A. Bekkers; Heineken, NL
  • Dr. M.E.F. Schooneveld; DSM, NL
  • Dr. M. Moracci; CNR- Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources, Napels, IT
  • Dr. H. van der Hijden; Unilever Research, NL
  • Prof. H.A. Schols, Dr. J.P. Vincken; Wageningen University & Research, NL
  • Em. Prof. M.R. Egmond; Utrecht University, NL
  • Prof. R.P. de Vries; Utrecht University / CBS-KNAW, NL
  • Dr. S.W.A. Hinz; DuPont, NL
  • Dr. R. Ludwig, BOKU, Vienna, AT
  • Dr. L. Martins, Univ. of Lisbon, PT

Date & duration

The course will be held from 25 - 29 September 2017.

Study load

The study load of this course is 1.5 ECTS credits. Participants will receive 0.5 ECTS extra when presenting a poster.


The course language will be English.

The course fee (which includes materials, coffee/tea during breaks, lunches and two dinners (Monday and Thursday) but does not cover accommodation) depends on the participant's affiliation:

                                              Course fee
PhD candidates affiliated with VLAG € 250
PhD candidates € 450
University staff / Non -Profit € 750
Industry / For-Profit € 2000


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