Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course is intended to provide the students with the basic chemistry of taste and aroma perception. In particular the molecules responsible for the taste and aromas of foods will be studied, correlating their molecular structures with taste and aroma properties.
The final examination should be preceded by Organic Chemistry and Food Transformation During Cooking.
Course contents summary
The 5 fundamentale tastes. Taste receptors and molecular recognition. Molecules which interact with the GPCR receptors: structures of sweet, bitter and umami molecules. Cation and proton receptors: salty and acidic molecules. Structures of compounds responsible for hot and fresh perceptions. Taste interactions.
Aroma receptors and molecular recognition. Quality and intensity of aromas, threeshold value, aroma value. Structure-aroma activity correlations. Primary and secondary aromas. Aroma predictability according to the molecular structure.
Molecular characterization of taste and aroma patterns of several foods (wines, cheeses). Food combination acording to the molecular patterns of aroma compounds.
Artificial tongues and artificial noses.
Materials given by the lecturer
Facultative supplementary material:
P. Cabras, A. Martelli, Chimica degli Alimenti, Ed. Piccin (PD)
Belitz, Grosch, Food Chemistry, Ed. Springer-Verlag
M. Marconi, D. Fajneer, G. Benevelli, G. Nicoli, Dentro al gusto, Ed. Edagricole