FST 128 - Food Toxicology



COURSE GOALS:  Food toxicology is concerned with assessing the injurious effects on living systems of chemicals present in foods. The chemical agents can be man-made (e.g., pesticide residues, food additives, contaminants originating with processing machinery, or packaging materials) or of natural origin (e.g., microbial, animal or plant toxins). They can, also be generated in the course of preparing, processing, and preserving foods (e.g., mutagens and carcinogens). It is important that students of food science as well as environmental toxicology are familiar with the basic chemical and biological aspects of the injurious substances present in foods. This course wishes to develop an understanding of the chemical and biological principles that determine toxicity and, by presenting typical examples of the toxic substances found in foods, it hopes to let students become familiar with their properties, modes of action, and methods of analysis.

Course Format:

  • The course is given as three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour weekly laboratory
  • Office hours are held weekly for a total of 1-2-hours/week
  • Additional time is always available through scheduled appointments with the instructor (contact the instructor through email to schedule an appointment) or TAs

Topical Outline:

  • Classification of Food Toxicants         
  • Food, Law and Safety                         
  • Principles of Toxicology I: Exposure, the Dose-Response Curve         
  • Absorption, Distribution and Elimination of Toxicants        
  • Biotransformation Reactions (Phase I & Phase II)                
  • Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Teratogenesis                    
  • Organ Toxicity                             
  • Natural Toxins in Foods of Plant Origin I             
  • Risk Assessment                        
  • Pesticides in Foods                             
  • Marine Toxins                            
  • Poisonous Mushrooms                        
  • Mycotoxins                            
  • Toxicants Resulting from Food Processing I                
  • Food Additives I                                        
  • Food Adulteration              
  • Pesticides