Module Overview

Structural Biochemistry for Food and Pharmaceuticals

This module is focused on the study of the structure and function of biological molecules. Emphasis will be placed on the implication of these biomolecules in food, nutrition, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The module aims to develop student understanding of the structure and functions of the key micro and macromolecules, which will underpin further studies in biochemistry and allied disciplines. Fundamental biochemistry laboratory techniques will be developed in the associated and aligned laboratories.  

Module Code

TFBC 2001

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Indicative syllabus covered in the module and / or in its discrete elements  


Origin and molecules of life. Energy. Water, molecular structure and biological functions. Biological thermodynamics.  


Introduction to the Biomolecules: Carbohydrates: General characteristics, structure and biological functions. Monosaccharides, dissacarides, polysaccharides and glycoproteins. Carbohydrates and nutrition.  


Proteins: General characteristics and functions. Amino acids Structure, properties, stereochemistry. Peptides, general characteristics, peptide bonds and peptides with nutritional biological interest. Protein structure and function. Synthesis of polypeptides and protein synthesis inhibitors. Biochemical analytical techniques e.g. SDS PAGE, separation and purification chromatography. 


Enzymes and coenzymes: General characteristics, nomenclature and enzyme classification. Mechanism of action. Active centre and enzymatic catalysis. Enzymatic kinetic, Michaelis-Menten equation and its transformation. Enzymatic inhibition (competitive, uncompetitive, non-competitive). Essential components of coenzymes and enzyme prosthetic groups 


Lipids: General characteristics and biological functions. Fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol and other lipids with biological interest. Vitamins: Structure and composition  


Nucleotides and nucleic acids: Structure and function. Replication and transcription.  


Laboratory practicals. Analysis of carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes, proteins and amino acids. Consideration of sustainable biochemistry lab practices. 

Face-to-face lectures and laboratories will be delivered and students will learn through in-class activities and discussions based on guided out-side contact hours reading and research. Self directed learning is encouraged using tutorial questions, use of on-line resources and quizzes.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40