754345 Food toxicology

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Baumgartner, Sabine
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Toxicology is a rather interdisciplinary science, including predominantly pharmacological and medical subjects, besides chemical and biological fundamentals, which students of food and fermentation technology should be used to. The lecture is built upon the definition of toxic substances by Paracelsus, which states that toxic effects of substances are depending on their dose. The following topics are to be discussed in the lecture:
Toxicological terms, such as dose, dose-effect-relationships, LD50, threshold values, etc.; medical-physiological fundamentals of toxicological relevant organs (liver, kidneys, nervous system, cardiovascular system, skin, lung); toxicokinetics, metabolic transformations, cytotoxicology, cancerogenicity, immunotoxicology, reproductive toxicology, epidemiology, risk assessment, threshold values, laboratory methods, legal basics. Although food toxins are used as examples in almost any chapter, the lecture closes with a broad discussion of toxic substances being somehow connected with food.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

After having attended this lecture the students have the following abilities:
-They understand and use the toxicological and medical vocabulary relevant to food contents, contaminants and additives.
-They know the most important toxicants, which are naturally found in food or being produced during the food chain, and the effects of these substances.
-They understand important biochemical mechanisms of toxic effects and should be able to apply them to food ingredients.
-They know the architecture and functions of the most important organs, either with regard to their metabolic activity or as targets of toxic actions.
-They understand the relevance of toxins on the genesis of important diseases, such as cancer or malfunctions of the immune system.
-They know the significance of threshold values and their interrelation with toxic doses or concentrations.
-They have an overview of important methods for the investigation of toxic effects and substances.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.