Spectroscopic Methods in Food Analysis

NAME OF THE COURSE Spectroscopic Methods in Food Analysis



Year of study


Course teacher

Assoc Prof Ivica Blažević

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

Knowledge of separation and identification methods for organic compounds found in foods important in the food, agricultural, and other industries using the spectra obtained by the modern spectroscopic techniques (MS, UV / Vis, IR, NMR)

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After completing the course, the student will become familiarized with the major concepts of organic food analysis, which includes:
- choosing a suitable chromatographic method for separation of components of the mixture of substances that have been isolated from food,
- select appropriate spectroscopic methods for qualitative analysis to identify food organic compounds of interest,
- combining individual spectroscopic methods for structure elucidation;
- application of acquired knowledge in research projects.

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Chromatographic separation (TLC, GC, HPLC). Sample preparation.
2nd week: Chromatography of volatile (essential oils, pesticides,...) and non-volatile (flavonoids, amino acids, sugars, ...) compounds.
3rd week: Mass spectrometry (MS). Methods of ionization and mass ionizers. MS / MS methodology.
4th week: Examples of different classes of organic compounds.
5th week: The analysis of compounds in wine, liquor, juices, essential oils, and the like. (terpenes, norizoprenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, pesticides, ...) ..
Spectroscopy analysis methods. Electromagnetic spectra. Spectroscopic techniques used in organic compound structure elucidation.
6th week: Ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy (UV/Vis): What is a chromophore. Effect of conjugation.
7th week: Examples of different classes of organic compounds in food analysis (phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, pigments,...).
Partial exam (written, 1 hour 15 min)
8th week: Infrared spectroscopy (IR) Introduction (IR, NIR, Raman).
9th week: Examples of spectra of different classes of organic compounds.
10th week: Examples of FTIR spectrum in qualitative analysis and control of various foods (meat and meat products, fish and related products, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and cereals).
11th week: Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). Basic principles.
12th week: 1H NMR Chemical shift. Spin-spin coupling. Quantitativity.
13th week: 13C NMR. and 2D NMR.
14th week: Examples of spectra of different classes of organic compounds.
15th week: Application of NMR (examples of spectra) in the quality control of vegetable oil, determining the fat, moisture and sugar in the natural products (ripeness and quality of fruit and vegetables), oil content and moisture content of the grains, authentication of fruit juices and wines, characterization of protein and sugar, and etc ...
Partial exam (written, 1 hour 15 min)
Laboratory exercises
Chromatography (TLC, GC, i/ili HPLC) (Separation of complex mixtures of volatile and non-volatile compounds - essential oils, flavonoids, pigments etc.) and mass spectrometry. (4)
UV/VIS absorption spectroscopy analyses (essential oils, terpenes, flavonoids, glucosinolates, etc.). (4)
IR spectroscopy. Analyses of solid, and liquid mixtures and pure compounds (essential oils, terpenes, flavonoids, glucosinolates, etc.) (4)
NMR spectroscopy. Analysis of NMR spectra (1H i 13C NMR) by using SPINWORKS software. Analysis of obtained IR, MS, NMR spectra and comparison by databases available on Internet (SDBS, NIST,...). (3)

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Active participation in all activities: lectures, consultations, searching the literature.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

Course is divided into three sections that students take over 2 partial written and 1 oral exam or by final exam at the end of the semester. The student pass the exam if he/she achieves at least 60%. The final grade is based on the evaluation of partial exams and laboratory exercises.
Scoring: <60% insufficient; 60-70% sufficient (2); 70-80% good (3); 80-90% very good (4); 90-100% excellent (5)

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

J. Mohan: Organic Analytical Chemistry, Theory and Practice, Alpha Science International Ltd., Pangbourne England, 2003.


R. Flamini, P. Traldi: Mass spectrometry in grape and wine chemistry, Wiley, 2010.



D.W. Sun: Infrared Spectroscopy for Food Quality Analysis and Control, Academic Press, 2009.



A. Spyros, P. Dais: NMR Spectroscopy in Food Analysis, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0WF, UK, 2013.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

E. Pretsch, P. Buehlmann, C. Affolter: Structure Determination of Organic Compounds, Tables of Spectraldata, Third Edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2000.
H. Günzler, H. U. Gremlich: Uvod u infracrvenu spektroskopiju, Školska knjiga Zagreb, 2006.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels:
(1) University Level;
(2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee;
(3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)