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Short Course - The Science and Technology of Plant-Based Ingredients for Food Applications

Please note:  This 2-day course will take place face-to-face in University College Cork - the date of the next course is not yet finalised.


The aim of this course is to provide attendees with an understanding of the properties, functionality, and applications of plant-based ingredients. With a science-based learning approach, this course will provide participants with the skills and knowledge needed to exploit plant-based ingredients in food product development.

Who should attend

Employees from the food industry, PhD students and anyone interested in gaining/deepening their knowledge on plant-based ingredients

Course Programme

The topics covered in this course will include the following:

  • Introduction to plant-based ingredients
  • Consumer readiness and acceptance of novel food ingredients/market data on plant-based food
  • Overview of carbohydrate ingredients from plants
  • Overview of plant protein ingredients
  • Overview of oils from plants
  • Extraction methods and resulting ingredients/waste streams (flour, protein concentrates/isolates, starch, fibre, oil)
  • Processing, modification approaches and pre-treatments – effect on antinutrients and functionality
  • Application of plant based ingredients in food formulation – dairy alternatives, eggs alternatives, meat alternatives, fish alternatives
  • Nutritional aspects of plant protein and plant-based food

The Leader Trainers

Professor Seamus O'Mahony is Professor of Dairy Science, within the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. In this role, he is academic co-ordinator of the MSc in Food Science Programme, leads the Food Ingredients Research Group and is academic director for the recently established post-graduate Diploma and MSc in Dairy Technology and Innovation. The research interests of the group are focused on (1) ingredient development and functionality, (2) powder technology and engineering, (3) formulation science and technology and (4) bio-functional food ingredients. He has published over 180 scientific papers, 16 book chapters and edited or co-authored 3 books and has secured >€8m in competitively won research funding since joining UCC. Seamus holds an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is passionate about teaching and learning.

Prof Joe Kerry is a senior college lecturer and head of the food packaging and material sciences group in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork (UCC). He received his Doctorate in Microbiology at University College Galway in 1995. He then moved to the Department of Food Technology in UCC where he held several postdoctoral positions before being appointed as a College lecturer in 1999. Professor Kerry is a qualified member of the Institute of Packaging and a research member of AMBER. He is, and has been, very involved in national and international research projects both at fundamental and applied levels. Primary research interests address various aspects of general food processing and formulation, food packaging, shelf-life stability, food composition and numerous aspects of food quality, particularly in relation to muscle foods (meat, poultry and seafood) or plant-based analog products representing same. He also has very strong links with industry and his research team assists companies in relation to many aspects of new food product development. He has over 400 publications in peer-reviewed international journals, over 400 presentations at major international conferences, along with several other significant publications by way of edited books, book chapters and national reports. His expertise includes use and manipulation of packaging materials and systems for use with foods, use of extrusion technology for the manufacture of food products/packaging materials, applications and new technology developments within the area of food packaging throughout the distribution chain, especially in the field of smart packaging (active and intelligent systems) and the material sciences of packaging.

Dr Aylin Sahin is a lecturer and researcher in Sustainable Food System at University College Cork, Ireland with an interdisciplinary background in Bioprocess engineering, Food Science and Technology and Biophysics. She graduated from TU Munich with an MSc in pharmaceutical Bioprocess Engineering in 2014, and from University College Cork with a PhD in Food Science in 2019. Her research focused on upcycling side streams to promote circular economy and exploring alternative protein and carbohydrate sources, their physicochemical properties and modulation using different processing tools. In addition, she has an expertise in fermentation technology and a strong interest in assessing the nutritional value and the life cycle of foods to evaluate sustainability.

Dr Thomas France is a specialist in the use of filtration to innovate dairy protein ingredient compositions. He has previously lectured at UCC, where he taught modules on food formulations and the chemistry of proteins and lipids. Currently, he is employed as a product development specialist at Nestlé, where he is working on next-generation infant milk formula tailored for the Asian market.

Dr Nadia Grasso is a Programme Manager at the Food Industry Training Unit (FITU) at UCC. She completed a PhD in Food Science and Technology in 2023, her research focused on the “Formulation, processing and functionality of plant-based alternatives to cheese”. With a passion for exploring alternatives to animal-based foods, Nadia is dedicated to advancing sustainability, food science, and food innovation. Her expertise extends beyond research, encompassing a keen interest in science communication, professional development, and fostering industry training and innovation.

Dr Mohammad Kamani (Mohsen) is a researcher working in Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark. He completed his Ph.D. in Food Science, at CSIR–Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR–CFTRI), India. His research interests are valorisation of plant by-products (with special interest in legumes/pulses) for sustainable food systems, development and characterization (techno-functionality, nutritional profile, ANFs and microstructure) of novel food ingredients and investigating their food applications in emulsified and texturized systems, novel approaches for enhancing the efficiency of protein extraction methods in food waste streams, and functional modification of plant proteins using emerging technologies and understanding of its structure-function mechanism.

Dr Laura Nyhan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Cereal & Beverage Science Research Group at University College Cork. She graduated from MTU with a BSc in Nutrition and Health Science in 2016, and went on to complete a PhD in Food Microbiology, where her research focused on the development of control strategies using predictive modelling for the reduction of pathogenic microorganisms in ready-to-eat foods. Her research interests include valorisation of food waste streams, fermentation technology, characterisation of the functional and nutritional properties of plant-based ingredients, and investigating their application in food formulations. 

Dr Sean Tanner is a Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Lecturer in Cork University Business School, University College Cork. His research is principally concerned with the application of social psychology approaches to understanding consumer behaviour within a food context. Sean is currently a member of a number of funded projects at both a national and international level and current research projects address issues including food labelling, consumer acceptance, sustainable food, food risk communication and trust, sustainable transport and marketing pedagogy. Sean has published in a number of leading journals including Appetite, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, and Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. Sean is programme co-director of the MSc Marketing at UCC where he teaches in the areas of marketing communication and sustainable consumption and is currently co-supervising two PhD candidates.

Ursula Leonard is a final year PhD candidate in Professor Mairead Kiely’s group at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research. Ursula has received a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Galway and a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutritional Sciences from University College Cork. Ursula is currently working on SuHeGuide, an Irish funded project that aims to develop food based dietary guidelines for sustainable and healthy lifestyles, where she is focused on exploring the impact of a transition to diets from sustainable sources on micronutrient intakes and status.

Digital Badge Award

Upon successful completion, you will be awarded a digital badge which can be used to support your CV and e-portfolio. A digital badge is an award which recognises your accomplishment in completing an unaccredited course and is referred to as a micro-credential. By taking part in the in-course activities and successfully completing the in-course questions you will qualify for a digital badge in “The Science and Technology of Plant-Based Ingredients for Food Applications”. The badge can be downloaded and included on CVs, shared via email or included on your e-portfolio (for example on LinkedIn). When a person or employer clicks on your digital badge they will see the specific details of the course, the process by which the course was given and if the course was successfully completed. Digital badges can be used to illustrate continued professional development and can supplement existing qualifications.

Course fee

The fee is €750, which includes tuition, course manual and catering. This course is part funded by Rural Skillnet for eligible participants. 


The next course date has not yet been finalised but we will update the website once the date is agreed.

For further details contact:

Dr Nadia Grasso

Programme Manager

021 4903114

Rural Food Skillnet Logo

Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork