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Food Forensics & Toxicology

Food Forensics 

Fraud with food can lead to economical damage to the food business, loss of consumer’s confidence in products and it can bring along health hazards. This minor offers students the possibility to become competent in several aspects of fraud detection in the food business focusing on the detection, investigation and prevention of food crime. In the minor knowledge of different disciplines is offered and integrated namely food technology, forensic sciences and chemical and biological detection methods. Students will follow specified courses about food defense, food fraud, food technology, detection strategies and analytical techniques. ‘True food crime stories’ will be analyzed and reconstructed. Chemical and biological forensic analysis methods will be weighed and used as conclusive evidence. With the acquired knowledge students will carry out their own investigations in food fraud.


Does a certain substance in food pose a health hazard? Is waste dumping damaging to the environment? How do you determine if a substance contributed to an unnatural death? Students acquire the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are necessary to answer these kinds of questions. Various (forensic) toxicological examples will be discussed by several (external) experts. After that the students will apply their newly-acquired knowledge in a (forensic) toxicological case-study, in which method-development, toxicological interpretation and compiling a report are the focal points.


Food Forensics

- Gain knowledge of food forensic issues and case studies

- Gain knowledge of forensic investigation methods within the food sector

- Gain knowledge and insight of production processes of food

- Gain insight into and apply quality and information management (eg HACCP, TACCP, VACCP)

- Gain knowledge, insight and apply advanced analytical chemistry techniques that are relevant for the theme of food forensics

- Gain knowledge of molecular biology techniques that are relevant for the theme of food forensics

- The student gains knowledge of and applies (advanced) data analysis techniques- Gain knowledge of relevant legal frameworks

Forensic Toxicology

- Gain knowledge of the field of toxicology (including toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, organ toxicology, risk assessment, post-mortem toxicology)

- Gain knowledge of toxicological assays

- Apply methods used to investigate toxicological responses

- Carry out a scientific toxicological literature study

- Gain knowledge of factors that influence drug addiction- Gain knowledge of pathological responses

- Gain knowledge of the procedure of an autopsy (incl. case studies)

- Interpret (forensic) toxicological data


At least 100 EC obtained in a course in Forensic Sciences, Chemistry, Food, Life Sciences or related study. The student should have basic knowledge of biochemistry and some laboratory experience (chemical and / or (molecular) biological).

Based on the study program of the external student, the course coordinator determines which specific documents must be submitted.

Primary for students who follow one of the following specializations:

-forensic sciences



However, the minor is also open to other students who are interested and meet the entry requirements. If in doubt, contact the course coordinator.


Casarett & Doull’s Essentials of Toxicology, 9780071847087


Lectures including various guest lectures


Work meetings / tutor groups


Drafting a research proposal

Perform research

Presentation / jury discussions


Field trips


30 EC= 840 h in total


- Theoretical exam twice (written): mark

- Practical assignment food defense & fraud *: mark

- Case study food Fraud*: mark

- Case study toxicology*: mark

* These assessments apply per working group, but will be individual if necessary.

Aanvullende informatie

Added Value

- Unique minor that meets labour market needs

- Interdisciplinary: students from different study programs take part. Knowledge is offered at your own level.

- Case studies (in small groups) and research questions from practice are included (partly from the professorship Safety in the Food Chain).

- Company visits to get affinity with the industry

- Good preparation for an internship project in toxicology, food fraud, or analytical chemistry.


Maximum number of participants is 24.

The minor is taught in English but will be taught in Dutch should no foreign students apply.