Department of Applied Chemistry

About department

Since the Department is integrated in the structure of the Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, the Department has been oriented at issues related at environmental chemistry and feed chemistry - mainly silage - since its formation. Another important theme linked to agricultural production is the issue of content of health-relevant substances in food raw materials and selected food. The main lines of research include:

  • chemistry of food raw materials (decomposition of processes in raw materials or foods with higher protein content, creation of biogenic amines),
  • research into organosulfur secondary metabolites,
  • creation of health-relevant polyphenols in fruit, vegetables, drink and agricultural produce and changes of their content during storage,
  • study of high unsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases,
  • trace element analysis, migration and accumulation of heavy metals in the environment.

Our Department guarantees certain fields of study and provide teaching of subjects not only at the Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, but also at other Faculties of the University of South Bohemia.

What studying at the Department of Applied Chemistry entails

The Department of Applied Chemistry has a university-wide educational presence. In addition to the Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, we teach for the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science. At all these Faculties, we provide the natural science foundation in profile disciplines of the individual Faculties. At the Faculty of Education, we guarantee two profile disciplines - Chemistry with a focus on education, and Teaching Chemistry for upper primary schools.

At the level of the highest forms of study, we guarantee the doctoral study programme Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, which is directly related to the research focus of the scientific team, i.e. the research in health-relevant substances in food raw materials and environmental chemistry.

  • The objective of this programme is to provide complex education, engrossed in the areas of agricultural chemistry, agricultural biotechnology, molecular biology and quality of agricultural produce.
  • Emphasis is laid on further development and professional training in critical thinking, the ability to independently and comprehensively analyse scientific information, design and implement experimental and theoretical work and, to an adequate extent, to evaluate and publish the results gained.
  • Considerable attention is paid also to the hands-on experience in using various modern instrumental and laboratory technology, in order to ensure that students have developed practical skills to secure a full-fledged employment in research or practice.

Students who follow a programme of study with a natural science orientation (Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, Faculty of Science, and partly the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences) complete basic chemistry subjects at the Department of Applied Chemistry, in the breadth and depth as necessary for their further studies. Most often, these subjects include General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Students of the Faculty of Education take the whole array of chemistry subjects, composed in accordance with international standards. In this connection, our Department has incorporated the office of chemistry didactics into its structure.

Furthermore, our Department is a proud operator of its academic indie game studio Antonicus (www.antonicus.cz). There, pedagogy students can develop their teaching skills. However, students of all Faculties are welcome to find their potential in the studio. If you are artistic (e.g. if photography is your hobby) or literature-oriented, you can help us develop educational adventures. The Department also has supervisors for the doctoral study programme Didactics of Chemistry.

Is this the right study for you?

For the study of the natural-science foundations at the Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, Faculty of Science, or the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, the relevant chemistry subjects must be completed mandatorily. In the case of study of a chemistry major taught for the Faculty of Education, study applicants must ask themselves whether they are strongly interested in natural sciences and have the aptitude for didactic work with the youth.

In the case of the doctoral study programme, the future student should reply with a “yes” to the following questions:

  • Is my interest in this field of study genuine and serious, and am I willing to spend four years of my life on the postgraduate study?
  • Do I have an adequate command of English?
  • Am I really attracted to having a career as a researcher or a university teacher? Have I got any idea of my professional occupation after the successful completion of study?
  • Am I capable of publishing the results of my work, would I be able to communicate with editors of professional journals and undertake other professional activities linked to the discipline?
Practical training and employment of graduates

Within the doctoral study programme, doctoral students are required to complete professional internships at domestic and foreign institutions with a focus on issues of the given discipline. As regards pedagogy-based fields of study, professional training forms an integral part of studies.

Employment of graduates depends at all times on the choice of the student’s major discipline.

Regarding pedagogy-based disciplines, the question of employment is obvious; it should be noted that the prestige and valuation of teachers has recently gained in importance. In the field of Chemistry, there has been a long-term shortage of teachers, a fact that considerably increases the chances that graduates will find employment easily.

Research activities and foreign cooperation

The Department’s research activities have already been briefly summarized in the introductory part. Needless to say, such activities are generally based on natural science disciplines taught at the Faculty of Agriculture adn Technology:

  • In chemistry of food, we concentrate mainly on degradation processes in raw materials or foods with higher protein content (e.g. meat, cheese). Indicators of degradation of these materials include biogenic amines. We also study polyamines as biologically active food components. We determine these substances by modern variants of ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) or capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE).
  • Another important area of research consists in organosulfur secondary metabolites. These particularly interesting compounds are found mainly in garlic and bryophytes, many medicinal plants and certain fungi. We examine their structure, creation during the technological and culinary processes and their sensory and biological properties.
  • Plant polyphenols are compounds that boast considerable antioxidant effects thanks to their unique structure, and which, as such, protect sensitive compounds from oxidative damage. Polyphenols are capable of reducing ongoing inflammatory reactions and counteract the manifestations of viral diseases. Nutrition rich in these natural substances greatly contributes to the prevention of serious cardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke). We are engaged in determining the content of these health-relevant substances in fruit, vegetables, drink and vegetable produce. We study their behaviour during processing and long-term storage of food. We aim to identify products and procedures that will ensure the preservation of the content of these precious substances.
  • A related topic in terms of importance for human health is the study of high unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid), found not only in the fat of saltwater fish, but also in that of fresh water fish in an increased amount. These acids are beneficial in reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The acids are determined by means of gas chromatography.
  • Last but not least, we have embraced issues of trace element analyses, mainly by determining selected essential (Se, Zn) and risk (Cd, Pb, As) elements, using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) with flame and electrothermal atomization. On studying the migration of heavy metals in ecosystems, our current focus rests especially on surface waters and water reservoir sediments. From a long-term perspective, we have been interested in the research into heavy metal cumulation in sporocarps of wild fungi.

As regards foreign cooperation, thanks to its research projects (COST and others), the Department has extensive contacts with European and non-European institutions, where students undergo internships connected with the research topic addressed by them.

Secretariat

  • Věra Soukupová

  • +420 387 772 656

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Pavilion ZO, office No. 113

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370 05 Ceske Budejovice,
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Studentska 1668, 370 05
Ceske Budejovice
Czech Republic
Tel.+420 387 772 427 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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