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Obnovit | RAW
Food and Natural Products

Food and Natural Products

CHYBI CHARAKTERISTIKA PROGRAMU

The aim of the study programme is to educate top experts with the potential to manage and implement scientific and research activities both in academic sector and in management positions within industrial research or in government/control bodies. The study programme is aimed at broadening knowledge in a number of complementary disciplines: (i) evaluation of the bioactivity of chemical compounds and their mixtures (health and toxic effects) as a basis for assessing their effects on human health and living organisms, (ii) understanding of the mechanism of physico-chemical reactions and processes in food, dietary supplements or natural products under different processing and storage conditions; (iii) expertise with the application potential of instrumental platforms in the field of target analysis and, in particular, non-target screening for the characterisation of different types of samples and (iv) the application of advanced chemometric strategies and bioinformatics in the processing and interpretation of experimental data, especially in metabolomics.

Careers

The graduate of the programme will acquire comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field of food chemistry and natural products, including knowledge of the reactions taking place in technological processing. Due to deep theoretical and practical knowledge, a doctoral graduate can apply modern analytical techniques to a comprehensive assessment of the quality and chemical safety of food and natural products, to detect food fraud and /or prove their authenticity. An important professional competence opening the way for interdisciplinary cooperation is the application of innovative analytical strategies such as metabolomics, which can be applied, among other things, in the field of biomonitoring or bioprospection.

Programme Details

Language of instruction English
Standard length of study 4 years
Form of study Full time + Combined
Guarantor of study programme doc. Ing. Jana Pulkrabová, Ph.D.
Programme Code AD305
Place of study Prague
Capacity 20 students
Number of available PhD theses 7

List of available PhD theses

Biologically active compounds of plants and their changes during processing and storage

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty
Theses supervisor: doc. Dr. Ing. Věra Schulzová

Annotation

Plant biologically active compounds can have positive as well as negative effects on the human body. Levels of plant secondary metabolites depend on the type of plant or the growing conditions, but are also affected by processing and storage conditions Modern analytical methods, based mainly on the technique of ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry detection, are applied for monitoring these compound levels and the assessment of individual compounds stability. For the assessment of the authenticity of vegetable raw materials, metabolomic fingerprinting / profiling technique with application of sophisticated statistical methods for the evaluation of obtained data is applied.

Critical assessment of potential of various gas chromatography - mass spectrometry platforms in food analysis

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty

Annotation

The doctoral thesis will focus on a critical assessment of performance characteristics of analytical methods employing various set-ups of gas chromatographic (GC) separation systems and various types of mass spectrometric analyzers. For separation of complex mixtures, the use of two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) will be tested, for detection, tandem time-of-flight (Q-TOF) high resolution and/or triple quadrupole (QqQ) mass analysers will be employed. The applications will be concerned with food quality, safety and authenticity evaluation. Special attention will be paid to approaches based on non-target screening (fingerprinting / profiling).

Development of analytical procedures for the determination of new perfluoroalkylated substances in food and biological samples

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology

Annotation

This dissertation will be focused on the development of ultra-sensitive analytical methods for the determination of a wide range of perfluoroalkylated compounds (PFAS) in foods, especially of animal origin, and in drinking water, which are the main dietary source of human exposure. The work will be firstly aimed on the extension of existing methods by new substances, e.g. short-chain carboxylic acids (C2-C3), telomeric compounds including their precursors. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry will be used for the analysis of targeted chemicals, based on their polarity and volatility, for some substances gas chromatography with mass spectrometry will also be applied, to achieve required performance characteristics. The new analytical procedures will subsequently be applied to assess the exposure of the population of the Czech Republic to these substances on the basis of their analysis in selected food commodities and drinking water. The dissertation will also include a study in the field of human biological monitoring, where the targeted PFAS will also be determined in human biological samples such as breast milk, blood serum and urine. It will be evaluated for the distribution of these substances in individual types of samples. This work will provide new data necessary for the complex risk assessment associated with the exposure of different population groups to these substances.

Evaluation of food safety from the point of view of newly occurring groups of mycotoxins

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty

Annotation

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites of microscopic filamentous fungi occurring naturally on agricultural plants / crops. Today, hundreds of these substances are known, and their structure and biological effects differ depending on the type of their producer, the type of colonized plant, and environmental conditions. As chemically and thermally stable substances, they are being transferred into food and feed to a relatively large extent and can pose a health risk for consumers. Nowadays, the health risks of only a small fraction of these substances have been assessed, so data on the occurrence of new groups of mycotoxins, occurrence of which is related to ongoing climate change, are highly desirable and necessary for the risk assessment. The topic of the dissertation thesis reflects the need to obtain new information on the occurrence of mycotoxins (specified also by the European Food Safety Authority), and will include the development of new modern analytical methods based on liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, and their implementation in screening and quantification of a wide range of mycotoxins in food and feed.

Innovative strategies for food fraud detection

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty

Annotation

The doctoral thesis realized within the international project will focus on the use of modern instrumental methods, especially high-resolution mass spectrometry, for the analysis of food raw materials, foods and food supplements. To recognize a fraud / verify authenticity of investigated samples, a strategy of comparing measured ‘fingerprints´ and profiles of selected biomarkers with records in a database constructed on the basis of fully characterized, authentic samples, will be employed. Advanced multi-dimensional chemometric strategies will be used for data processing. The project will also assess the potential health risks to consumers related to fraud.

Physiologically beneficial substances formed de novo during food processing

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty
Theses supervisor: doc. Dr. Ing. Karel Cejpek

Annotation

The subject are physiologically desirable substances formed by complex non-enzymatic browning reactions during food processing. The research is focused on the products contributing to increased redox stability and decreased levels of oxidative stress-inducing carbonyl compounds, in both food and human body. The goal is finding the optimum conditions for the formation of these protective substances in processed foods and designing a procedure for the production of functional foods by the addition of suitable precursors before processing.

Study of plastic additives used in agriculture

Department: Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Also available in programme: Potraviny a přírodní produkty

Annotation

This dissertation will be implemented within the EU project PAPILLONS - Plastic in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Lifecycles and LONg-term Sustainability. Plastics are a very important commodity in agriculture that improves crop protection and yield. In Europe, between 3 and 4 million tons of agricultural plastics are currently used, which generates 1 million tons of waste. During use and at the end of their life, some plastics degrade and form fragments, including micro- and nanoplastics, which may temporarily or permanently accumulate in the soil, which can then be transferred to agricultural crops and some animals. These plastics contain various additives, such as substances used as antioxidants, antistatics, flame retardants, plasticizers, pigments, heat stabilizers and UV stabilizers. This work will focus on the development of analytical methods for the determination of various plastic additives in fragments of plastics, agricultural plants and selected animals. The methods will be used to analyze samples taken in different regions of the EU, thus obtaining data for a comprehensive assessment of the risks associated with the use of these plastics in agriculture.


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