Food Digestion and Health

This specialization focuses on food on its way in the digestive tract. You will learn how the food matrix is broken down and absorbed. You will get better understanding of the role of various food ingredients on human health. The knowledge on the digestion of food can be applied to design foods with desired properties and functionalities. Education is provided by teachers from Food Technology, Human Nutrition as well as Animal Nutrition. This guarantees a multidisciplinary approach.

Academic year, study load and course names and codes:

The Academic Year of Wageningen University consists of 6 periods from 4-8 weeks (6 or 12 credits per period). In one study year you are assumed to take 60 credits (European Credits or ECTS). In period 1, 2 and 5 two subjects are taught, generally one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These periods consist of 6 weeks of teaching, followed by one week of self study and one week of exams. Period 3 and 4 are shorter, 4 weeks long, and in these weeks one course is taught blockwise (courses are scheduled whole day, in the morning and in the afternoon) and fulltime. In week 4 the course exam is scheduled. Period 6 consists of 9 weeks, due to many national holidays in the spring. In this period all MFT students follow the full-time course Product and Process Design of 12 credits (except for the European Master in Food Studies).

Every course has besides its name a code. The code: AAA-xyyzz, with AAA the teaching group ('department') responsible for the course (for example FCH=Food Chemistry, FHM=Food Microbiology), x indicates the level of the course (1=basic, 2=intermediate, 3=advanced), yy is an arbitrary number, zz indicates the number of credits in ECTS.

First Year

The tables below show the specialization programme and courses. The course content can be found in the on-line study handbook.

Course Type Period and Time*
Compulsory courses (CS):
FCH-30306 Food Ingredient Functionality CS 1M
FPE-30306 Food Structuring CS 1A
HAP-30306 Nutritional Physiology CS 2M
Choose at least two restricted optional 1 courses (RO1):
FCH-32306 Food Digestion: Fermentation and Gut Health RO1 3WD
HNH-30706 Food Digestion: Nutrient Breakdown and Adsorption RO1 4WD
FPE-32306 Food Digestion: Oral and Gastric Structure Breakdown RO1 5A
Choose at least one restricted optional 2 course (RO2):
HNH-32206 Food Components and Health RO2 2A
HNH-30306 Psychobiology of Food Choice and Eating Behaviour RO2 5M
HNH-36806 Nutrition and Sports RO2 5M

Second year

The second year consists of an individual thesis project (6 months; 36 ECTS) and an internship/traineeship (at least for 4 months; 24 ECTS). The topics of the thesis and internship will be related to the specialisation.

The thesis is carried out at Wageningen University. Thesis topics in this specialisation are offered by the following groups:

Food Chemistry, Food Quality and Design, Food Process Enigneering, Human and Animal Physiology or Human Nutrition and Health

The internship is always done outside Wageningen University and can be performed in food industry, research institute or university. The internship can be done in the Netherlands or any other country. The internship is not related to the thesis, but it should be a food related topic, preferably in the field of specialisation.