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Bioactive natural compounds in food; origin, mechanisms and effects

ECTS credits:

Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: Postponed to 2021
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:
The objective of the course is to introduce the students to the origin, experimental testing and effects of bioactive compounds found in food.

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 meat
  • 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 that often easily defined and scientific evidence for 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

Special comments on this course:

Postponed until 2021. More information will follow.


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

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