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Food Chemistry (M.Sc.)

Taught in German


Picture: Anna Ivanova/



Since winter semester 2007/08 students have been able to enrol in the Bachelor's course in Food Chemistry at Justus-Liebig-University Gießen. In the winter semester 2010/11 a consecutive Master's course was started. As a result JLU Gießen is the only tertiary institution in Hesse at which degree programmes in the area of food chemistry are offered, thus ensuring that the training to become a food chemist, which is absolutely necessary for consumer protection in Hesse, is in place.

The Master's degree course Food Chemistry is remarkable for its emphasis on interdisciplinary aspects as many classes from different departments and faculties are part of the study plan.
The degree course imparts deeper knowledge of all the important areas of nutrition chemistry.

This  implies a solid knowledge of food chemistry, the chemistry and analysis of drinking water and waste water, food toxicology, food technology, quality management, food safety and food law. Apart from that, the subjects of study include: environmental analysis, articles of daily use and cosmetics and animal  feed. Current developments in food chemistry are covered by classes on immunological and molecular processes in food analytics (e.g. allergens, genetically modified food), through to molecular sensory analysis (odorous and flavouring substances, flavour enhancers).

The final Master's thesis gives the students access to a complex set of food chemistry questions and problems to be answered/solved in a structured way, teaching, at the same time, typical skills for problem solving in practice and research.

The Giessen degree courses are characterized by the careful attention they give to current developments and problem areas in food chemistry today. In these the emphasis is placed on the study and legal analysis of our most important food – drinking water – and also animal feed. With the reliable detection and quantification of contamination, the presence of allergens, genetically modified food or food ingredients, the requirements of German food and feed code are taken into account. A specialization in food biotechnology is possible within the framework of the elective module and in-depth placements.

Duration of studies 4 Semester 120 Credit Points (CP)

Duration of Studies

4 Semesters - 120 Credit Points (CP)


since 10 December 2010

Composition of the Study Programme

Composition of the Study Programme

Composition of the Study Programme

The Master's course Food Chemistry (MSc)  has a duration of 4 semesters (= 2 years). The course consists of 17 modules in five main areas as shown below:

  1. Basics of National Food Law and Company Visit
  2. Principles of Dietetics
  3. Knowledge of Chemistry and Microbiology of Food, Articles of Daily Use and Cosmetics
  4. Acquisition of fundamental knowledge of instrumental high-performance analysis
  5. Learning the principles of independent academic working
1st semester (30 CP)2nd semester (30 CP)
Chemistry and Analysis of Water (9 CP)

Quality Management, Food Safety and Novel Food (6 CP)

Special Biochemistry of Nutrition (3 CP)

Basics of European Food Law & Company Visit 2 (4 CP)

Chemistry and Analysis of Animal Feed (8 CP) Chemistry of Articles of Daily Use and Cosmetics (9 CP)
Food Technology 1 (3 CP) Environmental Analysis and Ecotoxicology (8 CP)
Basics of National Food Law & Company Visit 1 (4 CP) Food Technology II (3 CP)
Microbial Diagnostics (3 CP)


3rd semester (30 CP)4th semester (30 CP)
Food Toxicology (5 CP) Master Thesis (30 CP)
Molecular Sensory Analysis (3 CP)
Immunological and Molecular Biological Methods of Food Analysis (4 CP)
Project Work (Overall Analysis) (12 CP)
Additional Qualification / Compulsory Elective Module* (6 CP)


Further Information

A description of the core- and specialisation modules can be found in the special regulations with module descriptions and module plans (in German)

More on this... ("Spezielle Ordnung")


Courses offered in the course catalogue


Commencement of Studies in the Winter Semester

Commencement of studies

Only possible in the winter semester

Application: Entrance requirements

Entrance Requirements

The requirement for acceptance into the Master's course is a completed Bachelor's degree in Food Chemistry with a final mark of "good" or better.

The board of examiners can accept other courses of study as equivalent after examining them individually. The previous studies must show the following academic profile: Broad education in natural sciences including appropriate basics in chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology (generel biology and specific botany) and informatics. A focus on chemistry or close to chemistry, physics or biology must be clearly recognizable.

Application not limited only winter

Application / Enrolment

  • The study programme is not subject to admission restrictions.

  • The enrolment period for the winter semester begins at the beginning of June.

  • The end of the enrolment period is determined anew each year, please enquire in the application portal during the enrolment period.

Different rules apply in some cases for international applicants. More...


Career Options

Career Options

Career Options

The Master's degree is recognised as the second examination section of the training to become a state-certified food chemist and is thus the prerequisite for access to the third and final section of the training.
The focus of the subsequent third examination section is the legal assessment of foodstuffs, feedstuffs, consumer goods, cosmetics and tobacco products within the framework of expert opinions. These three examination sections are still a prerequisite for a professional activity in official food monitoring throughout Germany.
These qualifications also offer a unique selling point on the labour market for professional activities in the pharmaceutical and food industries as well as in private commercial laboratories.

  • Official food monitoring: In chemical investigation offices of the federal states (partly also of cities and the Federal Armed Forces) and positions at ministries and enforcement authorities.
  • Freelancers: For example, advising manufacturers, importers and retailers by conducting investigations and legal assessments of their goods.
  • As commercial chemists or experts in food chemistry, food chemists are usually appointed by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and approved by the state authority for the examination of counter samples.
  • In the food and nutrition industry: research and development as well as quality control and assurance.
  • Cosmetics, consumer goods and animal feed industry: research and development, quality control and assurance.
  • Food and nutrition research institutions: At universities, federal research institutes and the food industry.
  • Others: In addition, there are numerous other fields of activity in laboratories and investigation bodies in the field of drinking water, the environment (waste water, air and soil), agriculture, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, chemical toxicology, forensic analysis and clinical chemistry, i.e. everywhere where the special knowledge of the food chemist in the analysis of complex substrates and the assessment of the results is required.

Doctoral Studies at JLU

Doctorate possible with a Master's degree


Graduate Centres

International Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life Sciences



Information about studying at Justus Liebig University Giessen (incomings)

International Office
General counseling of international students
Dr. Saltanat Rakhimzhanova, Patrycja Zakrzewska

Goethestr. 58, Room 38
35390 Giessen

Contact and office hours

International pages

Please have a look at our International Pages for more information in English.

Further Information

Further Information: Documents

PDF documents for the courses of study

Examination- and study regulations


Courses offered in the course catalogue

International pages

Please have a look at our International Pages for more information in English.

Any Questions

Any Questions?

Information- and advisory services of JLU can be found under the category “contact” on this page!


Subject Advisor

Subject Advisor

Prof. Dr. Gerd Hamscher
Institut für Lebensmittelchemie & Lebensmittelbiotechnologie

Heinrich-Buff-Ring 58

35392 Giessen

Phone: +49 (0)641 - 99 34950

Office hours: by appointment


Central Study Advisor

Central Student Services

Directions and welcome desk