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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5242M Nutrient & Food Biochemical Structure and Function

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Darren Greetham

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

First degree in a science subject or equivalent with sufficient Biochemistry or Chemistry or Chemical Engineering for MSc entry

Module replaces

Replaces FOOD 5241M

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

On completion of this module, graduates will be able to understand many aspects of food structure and function from a chemical basis. carbohydrates, lipids and low molecular weight components such as flavour, taste and colour molecules. Graduates will have a developed understanding of how controlling these molecules effects the sensory perception of the food we eat and the nutritional properties of food. Students will also have an understanding of nutrient metabolism.


On completion of this module, PGT students should be able to
(a) understand the principles and applications of biomolecular interactions associated with nutrient and food components and their manipulation either artificially or by natural metabolic processing of food;
(b) understand principles of biomolecular reactions and interactions between proximal molecules of modified nutrient classes, the macromolecules and assemblies into larger food components delivery and the basis of colloids;
(c) understand the biochemical basis for adsorption, distribution, modification and metabolism and excretion (ADME) of lipids;
(d) consider the chemical reactions between nutrients and chemical changes due to denaturation, oxidation and covalent modification;
(e) understand the biochemistry of micro and macro nutrients and their transport
(f) understand the chemical basis of flavours and colours;
(g) appreciate the roles of the main classes of enzymes in bio processing of nutrients as substrates
(h) understand the laboratory and data analytical skills required for analytical biochemistry of ionisation of amino acids, and the solubility, chemical modification and gelation of proteins and the principles of redox for studying presence of naturally occurring oxidases.

Learning outcomes
Module learning outcomes - actions to be assessed at the PGT level
By the end of the module students will be able to:
MLO1: Demonstrate their breadth of understanding of the fundamental molecular structure and function of the main classes of nutrients, explaining their assemblies and organisation in food components that are controlled by biochemical interactions;
MLO2: Describe the roles of key enzyme classes and their actions on nutrient substates in both physiological and industrial bioprocessing,
MLO3: Explain the chemical nature both food colour and flavour compounds and properties of micronutrients and the context of their bioactivity and modifications
MLO4: Demonstrate familiarity with using quantitative analytical chemistry to interpret the changes in physicochemical properties when modifying protein components and provide insight into the changes in nutritional quality.
MLO5: Understand and communicate the processes that underlie the biochemical fate of the main classes of nutrients and how their constituents or residues recombined and modified.

Skills outcomes
- Laboratory skills in food chemistry and biochemistry
- Technical report writing
- Library retrieval of information
- Team working
- Data evaluation
- Numeracy skills.


Water, solvation, ions, buffering, acids & bases and reduction & oxidation. Protein and polypeptide structure and function and properties of amorphous polypeptides in protein denaturation, aggregation and gelation. Examples of glycans the monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides structures. Gelation properties. Understanding starch glycogen and cellulose. Fat and lipid organisation into Lipid structure assemblies and their and classification. Ordering and crystallisation, crystal structure and polymorphism. Physical importance and measurement of solid fat content. stability, texture, mouthfeel, taste, spread-ability, colour and physical stability of fatty and oily foods. Enzyme kinetics and denaturation. Hydrolysing enzymes in foods. Oxidising enzymes and Micronutrients, physical properties and chemical reactivity. Micronutrients and vitamins. Chemical components and reactions associated with in flavours and colour molecules

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment13.003.00
Independent online learning hours140.00
Private study hours0.00
Total Contact hours60.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students will have the opportunity to carry out self-assessment (formative assessment) during the seminar sessions.
- Progress will be formally monitored through laboratory assignments (summative assessment).
- Individual feedback is given upon marking of each assignment allowing for continual improvement throughout the practical part of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalLaboratory Class Work25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:42


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