Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Applied Food Chemistry and Biochemistry

Course summary

Course code: FOOD1039
Level: 7
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Life and Sports Sciences
Course Coordinator(s): Nazanin Zand Fard


Pre and co requisites



The quality and wholesomeness of food is to a large extent determined by its chemical composition. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates organic acids, vitamins and alcohols play important roles in the development and maintenance of the human and animal body. A basic understanding of the nature and biochemistry of these 'building blocks' is essential for food technologists, nutritionists, food chemists and food microbiologists. With this knowledge, strategies for the improvement and development of new ingredients and products can be more effectively developed. The course will therefore introduce the student to the principle constituents of foods and food commodities, their bio-chemical properties and changes during food processing and storage. Students will also develop laboratory skills for the identification and quantification of key chemical components in foods and food commodities using traditional and modern techniques.

Learning outcomes

The students will:
1. Critically analysing the properties of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates in food, and their relevance for the properties of selected food commodities;
2. Critically evaluate the effects of processing and storage on these components in foods;
3. Critically asses the composition of selected food commodities to their bio-chemical properties and changes during food processing and storage;
4. Acquire the laboratory skills required for the chemical analysis of foods and data Interpretation and critical evaluation.

Indicative content

The course will consist of a series of lectures and directed reading covering the:

• Introduction to carbohydrates; sugar structures; Reducing sugars, glycosides, conformation; Physical and chemical properties of sugars; Oligosaccharides and introduction to polysaccharides; Polysaccharide shapes and interactions; alginate;
• Classification of lipids; fatty acids and glyceride structures, crystalline forms; Refining of oils; Modification of fat composition; hydrogenation, transesterification etc. Autoxidation and oxidative rancidity; Membrane lipids; sterols, phospholipids, glycolipids;
• Introduction to food proteins; Protein structure; Functional properties of food proteins; Denaturation and processing of food proteins. Properties of milk, meat and other food proteins;
• The composition and properties, including food microstructure, of selected food commodities including milk and dairy products, meat, cereals, fresh produce, chocolate, margarine and sugar. The effects of processing on, the properties will also be discussed;
• The laboratory analysis of foods for their main chemical constituents including proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, acids and alcohols by modern and traditional techniques.

Teaching and learning activity

• Lectures on the theoretical component covering the basic subject matter, including study materials;
• Practicals and demonstrations of food analysis;
• Practical demonstrations of sophisticated techniques;
• In-depth studies of pre-selected food commodities or food products.

Scheduled contact hours:

(Include in scheduled time project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work, fieldwork and external visits.)
Lectures 36;
Seminars 0;
Supervised practical sessions 48;
Tutorials 12;
Formative assessment 0;
Other scheduled time 3;
Guided independent study: (Include in guided independent study preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice and revision.)
Independent coursework 150;
Independent laboratory work 51;
Other non-scheduled time 0;
Placements and year abroad:
Work placements
Work-based learning 0;
Year abroad 0;
Other placement 0;
Total hours: (Should be equal to credit x 10) 300.


Presentation: Formative.Pass mark50%
10 min Student Led Seminar on a selected food Commodities and its chemical properties in relation to processing
( problem solving exercise). Learning outcomes 1, 2 &3.

Lab reportL summative, 60% weighting. Pass mark 50%.
1000 words. A Laboratory report of a selected practical and Technique.
Learning outcomes 1&4.

Examination:summative, 40% weighting, Pass mark 50%
3 hour Written exam.

Learning outcomes
1 – 4.