Division of Food Chemistry

Former organisational unit. 31/01/2015.


Organisation profile

Division for Food Chemistry, National Food Institute strives to increase our knowledge about all aspect of compounds in food and how we are exposed to these compounds through multidisciplinary research and collaboration.

The chemical composition of our food is crucial for our ability to sustain good health and to avoid a long list of food related health risks. This forms the core of the activities in Division for Food Chemistry. The focus is on all the chemical constituents in food whether that is the good compound we need, the not so good compounds we try to avoid and the really bad compounds with severe health impact.


The current research in Division for Food Chemistry is focused to solve relevant issues for authorities and industry as well as develop our three platforms: mass spectrometry, food monitoring databases containing information of unwanted compounds and information about the nutrients in the food composition databases and a risk assessment platform. The platforms support the research in:

  • Occurrence and sources for residues and pollutants in food.  E.g. persistent pollutants, minerals and nano-structures, residues of pesticide and veterinary drug and natural and environmental pollutants.  Most of these compounds are responsible for severe long-term effects
  • Beneficial compounds in food with focus on vitamins in particularly vitamin D and K, but also other health promoting compounds and minerals. Also development of new technologies is included
  • Effects of food production and food preparation e.g. formation of unwanted compounds, migration from food contract materials and the use of nano-structured materials in food production or contact materials
  • Authenticity and fraud in food and food production
  • Uptake and metabolism of selected compound from food and metabolomics/mechanistic studies
  • Development of methods to assess risk from humane exposure to multiple compounds from the diet combining food intake, food monitoring and exposure modelling

The research activities include development of the core platforms in particularly implementing profiling techniques and metabolomics using accurate high resolution mass spectrometry and chemometrics, detection of man-made nano-structures in food.

In parallel development of improved chemical risk assessment to include exposure of combination of compounds using probabilistic modelling and obtaining the needed food monitoring data.

Public Sector Consultancy

Division for Food Chemistry provide public sector consultancy within nearly all areas of food chemistry including analytical services and consultancy to Danish and International authorities and. As a part of the obligation to Danish authorities Division for Food Chemistry compile and report Danish food monitoring data to Danish and international authorities.

The division is national reference laboratory for nearly all compounds in food and is EU reference laboratory for pesticide residues in cereals and feed. Furthermore, the division is a part of the Danish contingency plans and is part of the official control in several areas including food contact materials and algae toxins in mussels.

Industrial Collaboration

Division for Food Chemistry is involved in industrial collaboration with the objective to improve food safety, health or develop new products. The development of new product is within as diverse areas as development of safe food production processes, new food contact materials, authenticity of food additives and enhancing vitamins content by bio-fortification.

Industrial collaboration and innovation are centred on our three fundamental platforms that allow us to participate in a multitude of different projects of high relevance for society and industry, always maintaining high scientific standards and integrity as an independent research institution.

Teaching and Training

Division for Food Chemistry offers courses and projects on both bachelor and masters level within nearly all area of food chemistry and modern analytical chemistry. The division is a key partner in the diploma programme in Food Control. Diploma, bachelor and master project within food chemistry are most welcome.

The training and course activities include participation in building food safety capability on behalf of authorities and organisations globally through course and training both here and abroad. Other training activities are directed toward industry and laboratories with the latest knowledge and to meet the requirements in recent regulation.


The Danish Food Authorities




Head of Division Jørn Smedsgaard


Contact information

Mørkhøj Bygade 19
  • Phone: (+45) 35 88 70 00
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  • Food Additives and Contaminants

    ISSNs: 0265-203X

    Taylor & Francis Ltd.

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Food Chemistry

    ISSNs: 0308-8146, 03088146

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1873-7072

    Elsevier BV, Netherlands

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 2, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry

    ISSNs: 0267-9477

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1364-5544

    Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database




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