Biochemistry and biochemical analysis of food

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the basics of structure, properties and functions of the main biological macromolecules, and the basic knowledge on the main metabolic pathways that occur in the body.
Biochemical Analysis of Food
The course aims to provide the methodological principles of biochemical approaches used to characterize and analyze food: enzymatic methods, immunochemical methods, separation techniques and molecular biology techniques.
Expected learning outcomes
The student, will know the bases of biochemistry and the functioning of the main biological processes, thus acquiring the knowledge to critically understand the application of biological systems in vitro and/or in biotechnological processes. He will know the biochemical transformations that main nutrients undergo in metabolism, also depending on the state of nutrition.
Biochemical Analysis of Food
The student will know the main biochemical methodologies suitable for the characterization of food. He will also be able to critically evaluate, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, the results obtained by the analysis mentioned above.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Biochemistry. Amino acids: general properties. Physical properties and chemical reactivity of side chains. Proteins: primary structure and post-translational modifications. The peptide bond. Secondary structure: alpha-helix and beta-sheet. Tertiary structure. Quaternary structure and its functional role. Collagen as an example. Quaternary structure and allosteric regulation: myoglobin and haemoglobin. Enzymes: enzymatically catalysed reactions. Michelis-Menten. Competitive and Uncompetitive inhibition of non-cooperative enzymes. Allosteric enzymes. Covalent regulation of enzymatic activity. Introduction to metabolism: nature and role of cofactors. ATP, NAD and FAD. Glycolysis. Lactic and alcoholic fermentation. Metabolism of hexoses other than glucose. Gluconeogenesis. Control of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Role of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate. Hormonal regulation. Glycogen synthesis and brakedown. Pentose phosphate pathway. Pyruvate conversion to acetyl-CoA. Krebs cycle. Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation. Energetic Balance of the total oxidation of glucose. Catabolism of fatty acids: beta oxidation. Catabolism of unsatured fatty acids. Fatty acid biosynthesis. Cholesterol biosynthesis. Plasma lipoproteins. Amino acid metabolism: protein digestion and transamination reaction. The urea cycle. Basis of amino acid carbon skeletons catabolism. Biochemical Analysis of Food Principles of UV-vis spectrophotometry. Enzymatic methods: principles of enzymology. Enzymatic assays: quantification of enzyme activity and its meaning for food quality. Thermal inactivation of enzymes. Use of enzymatic tests for the quantification of specific compounds in foods. Immunochemical methods: structure and properties of antibodies. Principles and application of semi-quantitative immunochemical methods (Dot Blot). Principles and application of quantitative immunochemical methods (ELISA). Lateral flow tests. Application of molecular biology techniques to food safety issues. Classical and real-time PCR. Electrophoretic methods: principles of electrophoretic techniques. PAGE, SDS-PAGE, IEF, 2D-PAGE. Chromatographic methods: principles of chromatographic techniques. Gel-permeation chromatography. Ionic exchange chromatography. Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography. Reverse phase chromatography. Affinity chromatography.
Teaching methods
BiochestryTextbooks: INTRODUZIONE ALLA BIOCHIMICA DI LEHNINGER (Nelson/Cox, Zanichelli). BIOCHIMICA (Campbell/Farrel, EdiSES).Biochemical Analysis of FoodSlides presented in class are downloadable from the ARIEL web site of the course. The following books, in Italian, are available for further reading: Enzimologia (Duranti/Pagani, Piccin); Metodologie di base per la biochimica e la biotecnologia(Ninfa/Ballou, Zanichelli).
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 8
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 56 hours