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Dairy Protein Biochemistry

ECTS credits:


Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: 27 June – 29 June 2022
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 28 hrs
Capacity limits: 30


Objectives of the course:
The aim of this masterclass is to learn about the specific properties of both classes of dairy proteins, caseins and whey proteins. You will get insight in the different analytical methodologies that exist to characterize dairy proteins, their variations and molecular features, like modifications. Finally, you will get quantitative insight in the nutritional quality of dairy proteins in the human diet.


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

- Knows the composition and structure of the milk proteins, including the genetic variability and post-translational modification

- Appreciates the complexity of interactions among milk proteins, both in milk as such, as well as the interactions induced by processing

- Understand methods of analysis for milk proteins and is able to interpret the results of milk protein analyses

- Has a better understanding of the role of milk protein in nutrition and health of the consumer


Compulsory programme:
The course will be held at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. On-site course participation is obligatory. In May, the university will decide whether the course will be offered online, because of COVID-19 restrictions. In that case, the elective day on data analysis cannot be offered, and the course fee will be adapted accordingly.


Course contents:

  • Lectures to obtain an overview of milk protein composition and structure, with a specific emphasis on the casein micelle and its structure; analytical methodology for milk protein, including proteomics and advanced data analysis approach; digestion and functionality of milk proteins upon consumption.
  • Literature discussion: critically review and discuss a specific paper, to get a better understanding of milk protein composition and its variability.
  • Group discussion on casein micelle structure: by critically evaluating published papers and existing data on the casein micelle, group will propose a proper model for the structure of casein micelles.
  • Data analysis: Interpretation (in groups) of existing analytical data to learn how to evaluate the results of specific protein analyses.


The course welcomes PhD students and post-docs as well as professionals from industry and research centers. Scientific knowledge on concepts and methodology in protein chemistry is an advantage.


Name of lecturers:
Prof Lotte Bach Larsen & Dr Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University
Dr Kasper Hettinga & Dr Etske Bijl, Food Quality & Design, Wageningen University


Type of course/teaching methods:
Lectures, data practicals, and group discussions.


Scientific papers, book chapters plus additional selected literature.


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Active participation


The graduate school VLAG, Wageningen University


Special comments on this course:
The course is a joint course between the graduate school VLAG, Wageningen University and Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, and alternates between the two places.

27 June – 29 June 2022


Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands


For registration: Go to registration at course homepage for more information

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Kasper Hettinga, kasper.hettinga@wur.nl for information concerning the course contents. For organisational matters please contact:

Jochem Jonkman, jochem.jonkman@wur.nl 

Contact persons from AU: Nina Aagaard Poulsen nina.poulsen@food.au.dk and Lotte Bach Larsen lbl@food.au.dk


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