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Bio-functional food; health promoting effects beyond nutrition 2022

ECTS credits:


Course parameters:
: English
Level of course
: PhD course
Time of year: Autumn 2022
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like:

  • 4 days of lectures and experiments: 32 hours
  • Reading provided literature before course: 32 hours
  • Preparing presentation before course: 16 hours
  • Writing report to be handed in after course: 24 hours

Capacity limits: 12


Objectives of the course:
Food is a source of macro nutrients and essential micronutrients, but contains also a great source to health promoting compounds. The objective of the course is to introduce the students to the origin in various foods, experimental testing and effects of these compounds in biological in vitro systems.


Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge on the origin of bioactive compounds found in food
  • demonstrate knowledge on how to design in vitro experiment to test the effects of bioactive compounds in a scientific way
  • demonstrate knowledge on some health effects of bioactive compounds

Compulsory programme:

Day 1:

  • Introduction to bioactive compounds
  • Bioactive compounds in plants
  • Students presentation I
  • Practical exercise – design cell experiments - treatment

Day 2:

  • Experimental models
  • Bioactive compounds in animal derived products
  • Students presentation II
  • Practical exercise – cell experiment – harvest and preparation for analysis (RNA extraction)

Day 3:

  • Effects of bioactive compounds I
  • Practical exercise – analysis (RT-PCR)

Day 4:

  • Effects of bioactive compounds II
  • Rules and regulations in bioactive compounds
  • Practical exercise – data handling
  • Evaluation

Course contents:

The origin of bioactive compounds are unlimited and numerous health beneficial effects has been described in the literature. However, bioactive compounds are not easily defined and scientific evidence of their effects are often limited. Thus, this possesses a challenge for the scientific work.

The course will give an introduction to the origin of bioactive compounds, describe their effects at a mechanistic level and present some basic knowledge on legislation. The practical work will cover experimental design, treatment of a cell model and analysis of specific gene expression.




Name of lecturers:

  • Martin Krøyer Rasmussen, Assistant professor, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
  • Jette Feveile Young, Associate professor, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
  • Martin Jensen, Senior Researcher, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
  • Bo Ekstrand, Professor emeritus, Department of Biology and biological engineering, Chalmers university of Technology

Type of course/teaching methods:
The course will be a mix of lectures in the morning and practical exercises in the afternoon.


To be announced


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Attendance for a minimum of 80% of the theoretical and practical lessons is required to obtain the course diploma.

Approved presentation provided at the course.

Approved report handed in after the course. 


Department of Food science, Aarhus University


1-4 November 2022.



Department of Food Science

Agro Food Park 48

8200 Aarhus N.


Deadline for registration is 1 October 2022.

Please sign up for the course by using this link: https://events.au.dk/biofunctional-food-health-promoting-effects-beyond-nutrition-2022/signup

Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than 7 October 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Martin Krøyer Rasmussen, e-mail: martink.rasmussen@food.au.dk

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