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Nutraceuticals in Health & Nutrition / Nútraiceodaigh i Sláinte & Cothú

DT420

DT420: Course Description

DT420: Student Perspective   

What is... Nutraceuticals in Health & Nutrition?

Nutraceuticals are concentrated compounds obtained from food sources which can provide health benefits including prevention of disease and health promotion.  Examples of nutraceuticals include substances such as Omega 3, antioxidants or probiotics. In today’s competitive food industry, and  with increased consumer awareness of the link between diet and health, nutraceuticals are a dynamic and growing market sector.

What are my... Career Opportunities?

Graduates will be qualified to enter a rewarding career in this innovative industry, participating in and leading the development and production of high quality functional foods and new nutraceutical products for the food industry. Graduates of this programme find employment in a variety of roles including nutraceutical technologist, food product development specialist and quality control and regulatory roles. 

What other options do I have after completion?

Graduates will also be qualified to enter postgraduate research programmes, both in Ireland and abroad, in nutraceutical research and related areas at masters or PhD level. Demand for researchers in this area is currently high and is predicted to further increase in future years. 

Learning Outcomes: What will I Study?

This programme covers a range of scientific disciplines and new nutraceutical technologies and aims to produce contemporary food scientists capable of exploiting this growing opportunity in health and wellness. An additional feature of this programme is its coverage of the emerging area of sports nutrition and nutrigenomics. Students on the programme will also undertake a three month work placement in a relevant area and a full semester in year 4 is dedicated to an independent research project which allows students to develop their research skills and develop an in-depth knowledge in an area of their choice.

Module Listing

Year one

  • Principles of Cellular and Systems Biology
  • Fundamentals of Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry
  • Digital skills and Computer Applications
  • Mathematics for Scientists
  • Physics for Sciences and Health
  • Principles of Food Processing and preservation
  • Introductory Nutrition and Microbiology
  • Communications and Nutraceutical Industry Studies

Year Two

  • Structural and Transformational Biochemistry
  • Natural Organic Chemistry
  • Food and Pharmaceutical Instrumentation
  • Food Process Technology
  • Food Engineering
  • Food Ingredients and Regulatory Affairs
  • Diet, Health and Disease
  • Statistics
  • Food Microbiology

Year Three

  • Food Chemistry and Food Chemical Analysis
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Biotechnology
  • Food Shelf-Life Management and Packaging
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Nutraceutical Microbiology
  • Medicinal Chemistry for Nutraceuticals
  • Nutraceutical Product Development
  • Nutraceutical Food Quality & Occupational  Safety
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Industrial placement

Year Four

  • Functional Food Products and Processing Aspects
  • Lifecycle Nutrition
  • Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics
  • Industrial Biotechnology for Nutraceuticals
  • Sports Ergogenic Aids
  • A Choice of an Optional Module

Are there study abroad options?

Students may have the opportunity to complete a semester, full year, project work or work placement abroad under the Lifelong Long Learning Programme (LLP)/Erasmus mobility schemes or their equivalent in other countries, subject to a bilateral agreement between DIT and the host institution.

Further Information

School of Food Science & Environmental Health

T: 01 402 7570 (Prof Nissreen Abu-Ghannam)

E: Nissreen.abughannam@dit.ie

What our Students say!

The DT420 programme is unique in its diversity. This course and its supportive lecturing staff have helped me build my distinctive skills and knowledge base through practical laboratory work, problem based learning tasks and interactive E - learning lectures.

There is a heavy focus on current advances and future directions of research which fit with the developing nature of the science. I got to study in Lund University Sweden and this invaluable experience broadened my academic perspective and amplified my enthusiasm as I gained a sense of the overall potential of functional foods. I then continued to carry out my final year project in Polytechnic University Valencia (Spain) where I furthered my understanding of how the science is developing globally.

I was awarded a scholarship by the Irish Research Council to carry out an Employment based PhD in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin and Nuritas Limited, a young Biotechnology company. This exciting project is based on using a combination of artificial intelligence and data mining to find novel antimicrobial peptides from sustainable food sources. The potential application of these bioactives spans from the food protection industry to the medical sector as alternative antimicrobial therapies.

DT420 prepares students who want to follow a further academic or an industrial career. Through this style of PhD, I am doing both, and feel that this degree helped shape my understanding of both worlds so that research is not just confined to the lab, it can be applied to the real world.

Niamh Máire Mohan (2015)