Food Toxicology


Acquisition of basic knowledge of general toxicology. Acquisition of knowledge about the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamic of chemical compounds. Familiarization with the tests to assess toxicity. Acquire skills to identify key toxic chemicals associated with the various types of food, knowing its origin, its mechanism of toxicity and strategies for their reduction

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Paula Amaro de Castilho Duarte


Weekly - 5

Total - 70

Teaching language



Background on biology, chemistry and biochemistry.


Klaassen CD, Amdur MO & Doull J (Eds.) (2008) Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: the basic science of poisons. McGraw-Hill Companies, New-York, EUA.

Shibamoto T &Bjeldanes LF (1993) Introduction to food toxicology. Academic Press, Inc, San Diego, California, EUA.

Omaye ST (2004) Food and nutritional toxicology. CRC Press LLC, New-York, EUA.

Dabrowski WM & Sikorski ZE (Eds.) (2005) Toxins in food. CRC Press LLC, New-York, EUA. 

B. Mendes, J. F. Santos Oliveira (2004) Qualidade da Água para Consumo Humano, Lidel-Edições Técnicas, Lda (Ed.), Lisboa, Porto, Coimbra, 625 pp., (ISBN 972757274X) 

Teaching method

Lectures classrooms with datashow. Laboratory practical sessions. 

Evaluation method

Evaluation of theoretical component: 2 individual tests (each one 50% of the final theoretical grade). Approval with a minimum score of  9.5 (scale of 20).

Evaluation of the practical component: 1 individual test.

Final rating: 0,7 x *theoretical grade+0,3 x practical grade. Approval with a minimum score of 9.5 (scale of 20).

Students who do not pass their continuous assessment examination may go to the final exam. classification in this case equals: 0.7 * exam + 0,3* pratical grade. Approval with a minimum score of 9.5 (scale of 20).

Improvement of the classification requires a registration in the schedule examination period. The classification of the practical component cannot be improved and follows in the next year.


Subject matter

1) General principles of toxicology. Dose, route, duration and frequency of exposure. Interaction of chemicals.

2) Toxicity testes: epidemiological studies, assays in vivo, in vitro and in silico

3) Absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion of xenobiotics.

4) Genetic toxicology. Chemical carcinogenesis: genetic damage and cancer.

5) Toxic food constituents

6) Microbial toxins in food

7) Environmental contaminants in food

8) Toxic substances produced by cooking


Practical classes

1) Acute toxicicity assays

2) Genetic toxicity assays