Upon completion of the course, the student should have gained insight into the fate of nutrients in the body and about the main biochemical techniques that can be applied to food products.Particularly, the student should be able to:1. understand at the molecular level how nutrients are enzymatically digested and absorbed. Understand how they are distributed to tissues and how their use is regulated. (Knowledge and understanding).2. understand how the components of a food product are digested and absorbed, foreseeing possible anti-nutritional effects. Calculate, based on the provided data, the calories of a food product. Analyse the nutrient content of a food product (Applying knowledge and understanding).3. communicate the topics of the Course in oral and written form, in appropriate scientific language (Communication skills).4. design a simple biochemical experiment to characterize the content of a food product using the techniques discussed in the course (Autonomia di giudizio - Making judgements)5. connect the topics dicussed in the Course to other Courses that focus on food chemistry and nutritional physiology. (Learning skills).
To take the exam of Applied Biochemistry, the student should have passed the exam of Biochemistry (2nd year)
Course contents summary
The course is focused on nutrition from a biochemical point of view. The main biochemical techniques applied to food products are also discussed.
• Nutritional Biochemistry: introduction and general aspects.
• The physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, a biochemical overview.
• Calories, Energy Balance, Calorie Requirements, RDA
• Transmembrane transport, general aspects; Transporters, channels, pumps. Biochemical bases of endocytosis; clatrine.
• Enzymes involved in digestion: general aspects. Catalytic mechanisms of hydrolysis.
• Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates: aspects of carbohydrate structure, digestion, absorption, metabolic fate; Hormone regulation of blood glucose, diabetes, biochemical markers of diabetes.
• Digestion and absorption of lipids: the structure of food lipids; digestion, absorption and metabolic fate; Essential fatty acids; hyperlipidemia
• Digestion and absorption of proteins: protein structure, essential amino acids; digestion; pathologies associated with the malabsorption of amino acids.
• Absorption of ethanol.
• Minerals: Absorption, transport and biochemical role of sodium, iron, copper, potassium, chlorides, iodides, phosphate groups.
• Vitamins: classification and general aspects. Transport, Distribution, Biochemical Role, Deficiencies.
• General aspects of digestion and absorption in non-human mammals: ruminants, carnivores.• Overview of the main biochemistry techniques used in the evaluation of food products: immunochemical techniques, enzyme assays, electrophoretic techniques, PCR. Manipulation of DNA in organisms, GMOs.
The teaching material will be made available on a weekly basis and loaded on the Elly platform. The teaching material includes all the slides and additional material provided by the teacher.
“Biochimica degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione”- Ivo Cozzani, Enrico Dainese
“Biochimica della Nutrizione” - Ugo Leuzzi, Ersilia Bellocco, Davide Barreca
The teaching activities will be carried out as frontal lessons, with short classroom exercises to enhance student self-assessment.
Assessment methods and criteria
The achievement of the objectives will be assessed in an oral examination. The exam will take place on the official exam dates, upon online registration.
The evaluation on a scale of 0 to 30 will take into account the general knowledge, the ability to apply the acquired knowledge critically, the appropriateness of scientific language and the autonomy in the discussion.