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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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structure and function of organic molecules in food
Code: K0513-
Teacher:  Sabrina Dallavalle
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 4,5
Practices in laboratory:  1,5
Basic aims: 
Acquired skills: 
Course contents:  Chemical modifications of organic compounds in food components. Oxidative degradations of fats, hydrolytic and thermic reactions. Structure and reactivity of organic compounds added to food products: antioxidants, sweeteners, acidifiers, dyes. Methods for structural elucidation of organic compounds. Practical: extraction and spectroscopic analysis of food-related natural substances.
Program:  Reminder of structure and nomenclature of the main classes of organic compounds. Chemical modifications of organic compounds in food components. Oxidative degradations of alkenes, polienes, phenols. Autooxidations of fats. Antioxidants. N-Nitrosation reactions of nitrogen compounds. Hydrolytic and thermic reactions. Maillard reaction: formation of aromas and coloured compounds. Dyes and colour: basic notions of spectroscopy. Natural (polienes, porphirin derivatives, quinones, flavonoids, poliphenols) and synthetic dyes: structure and stability. Chemoreception of taste.Taste receptors: structure. Models for taste active compounds. Sweet, bitter and umami molecules. Natural sweeteners. Synthetic intensive sweeteners. Hot and cooling compounds. Compounds affecting pH. Polysaccharides: relationships between structure,conformation and physico-chemical properties. Use of polysaccharides in foods. Emulsifying agents. Cyclodextrins.Terpenoids and Carotenoids:properties and uses. Methods for structural elucidation of organic compounds. UV and IR spectroscopy and their use to analyse organic functional groups. NMR spectroscopy: basic concepts, application to the analysis of organic compounds. Use of NMR in food analysis. Practical: extraction and spectroscopic studies of food-related natural substances.
Prerequisites:  The student is assumed to be familiar with the basic concepts of organic chemistry acquired in the 3-year course, particularly with chemical reactivity of carbonyl compounds and of carboxylic acids and their derivatives, and with stereochemistry.
Preparatory instructions:  None
Learning materials:  1. Brown, Introduction to Organic Chemistry, or J. McMurry, Organic Chemistry, or any other book of Organic Chemistry used in the 3-year course. 2. Belitz, Food Chemistry, Springer Verlag 1999 3. Copies of transparencies and slides.
Other info:  The final exam consists of a written test. The exam test may contain questions concerning the practical exercises.
Attendance of a lecture on safety in chemical laboratories is required for admission to practical exercises in the laboratory.
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Program of structure and function of organic molecules in food (pdf version)
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