If you're studying this unit in Melbourne, it's delivered in our First Year Model from semester 1, 2018. Instead of juggling four units at once, you'll focus on this one unit across a four-week period.

This unit will provide students with knowledge of the main food constituents: Proteins (Importance of proteins in food, Structure of amino acids, Types of amino acids, Peptide bonds, Protein structures, Conjugated proteins, Relationship of the protein structure towards functional and nutritional properties of food ); Carbohydrates (Basic Chemistry of Carbohydrates, Structure and examples of mono-di, oligo and polysaccharides, Relationship of structure towards functional and nutritional properties of food, Fibre); Lipids (Definition and main classes of lipids, Structure and nomenclature of fatty acids, Types of fatty acids, Relationship between fatty acid structures towards functional and nutritional properties of food); Water (Importance of water in food, Structure of water and ice and their relation towards properties of food, Types of water and its relation towards properties of food, Relationship between water activity and moisture in food systems; Minerals (Importance of variety of minerals in food, Important minerals and their properties in relation to properties of food) ; Vitamins (Importance of vitamins in food, Relationship of vitamins' structure towards properties of its presence in food systems).

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM1820 - Nutrition, Society and Communication

RCS1601 - Chemistry 1A

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate the importance of the main food components in food systems;  
  2. Describe and assess the structural and compositional features of food macromolecules;  
  3. Advise of the food components responsible for functional and nutritional properties of food systems; and  
  4. Recognise and evaluate the key chemical features of food macromolecules and their sensitivity towards environmental variables during processing.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written Assignment (1500 words) 20%
Assignment Group Oral Presentation (5 minutes per student) 20%
Examination Final Written Examination (2.5 hours) 60%

Required reading

Links to relevant documents and resources will be available for students via VU Collaborate.

Fennema's Food Chemistry 4th ed.
S. Damodaran, K.L. Parkin & O.R. Fennema (2008)
CRC Press; Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, USA

Food - The Chemistry of its Components 5th ed.
T.P.Coultate (2009)
RSC Paperbacks, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK

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