Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 02/Page 02.0

From UBC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Chemical and Physical Properties of Food

2.0 Overview

In this lesson we will discuss the chemical properties of food constituents and how those constituents affect the physical properties of foods. You will learn about the various classes of carbohydrates, ranging from monosaccharides to polysaccharides, and their functional properties important to food science and technology. You will learn about the caramelization and Maillard browning reactions and their importance as a determinant of food quality.

Important properties of proteins such as foaming, emulsion stabilization and gelation will be explored. The importance of proteins in the production of selected food commodities will be explained, and you will learn about enzymes, which are proteins that function as biological catalysts, and their importance in food technology.

We will discuss the basic properties of fats and differentiate between saturated and unsaturated fats. You will learn about triacylglycerols or triglycerides and their functional properties, and about emulsions and emulsifiers and the many foods that are created through the formation of emulsions.

The importance of organic acids, pigments and water in foods and their role in determining the properties of foods will be described.

Through a discussion of the production of flour from wheat and the production of bread, you will begin to appreciate how various constituents interact to produce the desirable physical and flavourcharacteristics of bakery products.


The overall objective of this lesson is to give you an appreciation that foods are mixtures of chemicals that interact to produce the particular characteristics of the food from sensory, chemical and physical stimuli. At the conclusion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • compare and contrast food- colloidal dispersions;
  • summarize the functional properties of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in foods;
  • distinguish between caramelization and the Maillard browning reaction and state the importance of these reactions in food;
  • explain the function of emulsifiers and stabilizers in emulsions;
  • interpret the importance of water, pH, and minor constituents in quality and safety of foods
  • outline the minor constituents of foods

Optional Readings

  • Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Use of Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweeteners. (2012). J Acad Nutr Diet.112:739-758. Link
  • American Dietetic Association (2007). Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Dietary Fatty Acids. Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION 107(9), 1599-1611. click here