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FOOD 520C Advances in Food Analysis (Lecture & Laboratory)
Section: TBA
Instructor: Dr. Xiaonan Lu (Professor of Food Science)
TA: Bowen Zhao (graduate student)
Office: FNH 213, FNH Building
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule: Lecture: Monday 11:00 am-1:00 pm, Room 30, FNH Building
Laboratory: Wednesday 11:00 am-1:30 pm, Room 30/Room 290, FNH Building
Classroom: Room 30, FNH Building

Course description and learning objectives

Theory, potentials and applications of advanced analytical and instrumental techniques employed in food analysis. The course will focus on providing graduate students with a detailed knowledge of modern techniques used in research and development as well as inspection of food products in industry, analytical laboratory and government. The course is composed of lectures and hands-on laboratories.



Fundamental principles, spectral behavior, difference derivative and fluorescence spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy (MS), infrared (IR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, instrumental parameters.

Liquid chromatography

Basis of chromatography (mobile and stationary phases, the separation process, resolution, characteristics of the chromatographic peak), size exclusion, ion exchange, basic affinity, and metal chelate affinity chromatography.

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC)

Concepts and principles, methodology, instrumentation and applications; HPLC-UV/diode array detector, HPLC-MS, HPLC-MS/MS, GC-flame ionization detector, GC-MS, GC-olfactometry, GC-IR.

Immunochemical techniques

Definitions and basic immunological principles, polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, precipitation techniques, radioimmunoassays and enzyme immunoassays, antigen-antibody interactions, enzymatic labels, amplification systems, applications.

Innovative analytical tools

Microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip”, nanotechnology and nanobiosensor, colorimetric biosensor, quantum dot, advanced materials (graphene, metal-organic framework, molecularly imprinted polymers).


Students will write a comprehensive term paper to review a technique for food analysis. This technique should NOT be covered in the lectures given by the instructor. Details will be provided.


1) Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy: Authentication of vegetable oils
2) Antioxidant assays: Quantification of antioxidant capacity of onions using DPPH assays
3) HPLC: Determination of melamine in dairy products
4) Enzyme Immunoassays: Detection of gluten in dough samples by a sandwich ELISA

Students will work in groups but will submit individual reports. For the sake of consistency, students will be expected to follow the format and style of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in the preparation of lab reports.


Theory 60%

  • Comprehensive Term Paper 20%
  • Final Exam 40%

Laboratory 40%

Suggested References

Frazier, R. A., Ames, J.M. and Nursten, H.E. (Eds.). 2000. Capillary electrophoresis for food analysis: method development. Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry. 127 p.
UBC Woodward Library (QP519.9.C36 F73 2000)

Horwitz, W. and Latimer, G.W. (Eds.). 1998. Official methods of analysis of AOAC International. 16th ed. Gaithersburg: AOAC International.
UBC Woodward Library [electronic resource] (S587.A7 CD-ROM)

MacRae, R. (Ed.). 1988. HPLC in food analysis. London: Academic Press.
UBC Woodward Library (TX541.H25.1988)

Nielsen, S.S. (Ed.). 2003. Food analysis. 3rd ed. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publishers Inc.
UBC Woodward Library (TX545.F54 2003)

Morris, B.A. and Clifford, M.N. (Eds.). 1985. Immunoassays in food analysis. London & New York: Elsevier Applied Sci.
UBC Woodward Library (TX545.I448 1983)

Settle, F.A. (Ed). 1997. Handbook of instrumental techniques for analytical chemistry. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR.
UBC Woodward Library (QD79.I5 H36 1997)

Wilson, R.H. (Ed). 1994. Spectroscopic techniques for food analysis. New York: VCH Publishers, Inc. 246 p.
UBC Woodward Library (TX547.S64 1994)

The instructor will also use scientific publications from peer-reviewed journals as course materials.

Policy on Plagiarism (quote from University calendar)

“Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. Scholarship quite properly rests upon examining and referring to the thoughts and writings of others. However, when another person's words (i.e., phrases, sentences, or paragraphs), ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation. Where direct quotations are made, they must be clearly delineated (for example, within quotation marks or separately indented). Failure to provide proper attribution is plagiarism because it represents someone else's work as one's own. Plagiarism should not occur in submitted drafts or final works. A student who seeks assistance from a tutor or other scholastic aids must ensure that the work submitted is the student's own. Students are responsible for ensuring that any work submitted does not constitute plagiarism. Students who are in any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism should consult their instructor before handing in any assignments.”