Food Chemistry

Food chemistry is the study of chemical processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of foods.The biological substances include such items as meat, poultry, lettuce, beer, and milk as examples. It is similar to biochemistry in its main components such as carbohydrates, lipids, and protein, but it also includes areas such as water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, food additives, flavors, and colors. This discipline also encompasses how products change under certain food processing techniques and ways either to enhance or to prevent them from happening. An example of enhancing a process would be to encourage fermentation of dairy products with microorganisms that convert lactose to lactic acid; an example of preventing a process would be stopping the browning on the surface of freshly cut Red Delicious apples using lemon juice or other acidulated water.

To prove that certain food products are beneficial for health and to study the reasons for this, there is arequirement of a methodological platform similar to what is used in the pharmaceutical industry. Well-designed diet-intervention studies, new technologies and analytical methods will increase the knowledge of molecular mechanisms affected by specific foods and bioactive compounds. We need to analyze the composition of the food, investigate the effects of gastro-intestinal digestion, identify compounds with bioactivity and study their bioavailability and the mechanisms of action at the molecular and cellular level.