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Category: Chemistry of Food Composition

You are what you eat..! Food and people are composed of the same chemical materials, and there was a time when people serves as nourishment to other animals in the food chain. All food, including people, consist of six basic nutrient groups: water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Food provide varying amounts of nutrients. Milk, for example is 80 percent water, meats serve as primary sources of protein, potatoes and grains are rich in carbohydrates, and nuts are almost all fat. Most food contain a combination of the six major nutrient groups.

Since people literally are what they eat, the main purpose of eating and drinking is to replace those nutrients used up in the body’s maintenance, repair and growth, and to obtain the calories necessary for energy. Calories are like fuel to the body, as gas is fuel to a car. Unlike cars, however, living organisms never shut down, even during sleep. Over half the calories used by the body, about 60 percent, are used soley for vital life functions such as maintaining body temperature, respiration and heartbeat. Another 10 percent is used for digesting and absorbing the nutrient from food, and the remaining 30 percent, depending on the person, is used for physical activity.


Monosaccharides Monosaccharides are classified by the number of carbons in the saccharide unit—triose (three carbons), tetrose (four carbons), pentose (five carbons), and hexose (six carbons). The chemical names of many of the carbohydrates end in “-ose”, which means “sugar.” Pentose and hexose sugars are more common in foods, the main pentoses being ribose and arabinose, […]

Non-Nutritive Food Components

Non-Nutritive Food Components Foods contain some compounds that are not classified within the six basic nutrient groups. All sorts of substances can be found in food—natural, intentional, and unintentional. Among the beneficial compounds naturally found in foods are those that provide color and flavor, along with certain plant compounds. Color Compounds Food is made more […]

Functions of Water in Food

Water is the most abundant and versatile substance on earth. Among its many uses in food preparation, its two most important functions are as a transfer medium for heat and as a universal solvent. In addition, it is important as an agent in chemical reactions, and is a factor in the perishability and preservation of […]

Composition of Water

Whether bound or free, water’s chemical formula remains the same, Water is a very small molecule consisting of three atoms – one oxygen atom flanked by two hydrogen atoms (H2O). Water may exist as a gas (steam or humidity), liquid or solid (ice). The distance between the molecules determines these differences, and the distances are […]

Enzymatic Reactions

Enzymatic Reactions Enzymes (or biocatalysts) are one of the most important proteins formed within living cells because they act as biological catalysts to speed up chemical reactions. Thousands of enzymes reside in a single cell, each one a catalyst that facilitates a specific chemical reaction. Without enzymes, reactions would occur in a random and indiscriminate […]


Disaccharides The three most common disaccharides are sucrose, lactose, and maltose. Sucrose Sucrose is table sugar, the product most people think of when they use the term “sugar.” Chemically, sucrose is one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule linked together. Lactose A glucose molecule bound to a galactose molecule forms lactose, one of the few […]

Enzyme Use by Food Industry

Enzyme Use by the Food Industry Many foods would not be on the market if it were not for certain enzymes. Foods that can be manufactured with the aid of enzymes include wines, cheeses, corn syrups, yogurt, cottage cheese, baked goods, sausages, juices, egg white replacers. the artificial sweetener. Aspartame, and vanous oriental foods relying […]


Foods High in Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in foods. Plants are the primary source of carbohydrates, with the exception of milk, which contains a sugar called lactose. The muscles from animals can also contain some carbohydrate in the form of glycogen, but much of this is converted to a substance […]

Food Chemical Reaction

Water makes possible a vast number of chemical reactions that are important in foods. These include ionization, pH changes, salt formation, hydrolysis, and the release of carbon dioxide. Ionization When particles dissolve in a solvent, the solution is either molecular or ionic in nature. Molecular solutions are those in which the dissolved particles remain “as […]

Basic Food Chemistry

The body’s benefit from food’s energy and nutrients occurs on the cellular level. To comprehend how this occurs, it is necessary to know some biochemistry. While this may be a daunting term, it is simply the study of the chemistry that occurs within living organisms. Knowing something about biochemistry helps in understanding how nutrients from […]

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