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Greetings from foodland: Teaching biochemistry to BS students in food-related courses in Italy.

08:00 EDT 15th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Greetings from foodland: Teaching biochemistry to BS students in food-related courses in Italy."

Biochemistry has always been a mandatory topic within BS courses aimed at food science students at the University of Milan, namely: Food Science & Technology and Catering Sciences. Addressing biochemistry topics in this peculiar setting requires: (i) specific focus on topics that are seldom considered in courses offered in bio-medical curricula; (ii) close integration with other area disciplines, such as food biotechnology; (iii) ad hoc design of laboratory classes; and (iv) an array of elective courses covering specific aspects of biochemistry. In this context, for example, protein chemistry is presented by using food proteins of known structure and discussed in terms of structural features in the raw materials and of structural and chemical modifications occurring upon processing. Along the same lines, metabolic pathways and their regulation are presented starting from widespread metabolism-related issues and to issues related to food safety (including food allergies and intolerances). A similar "hands on" approach is used for laboratory classes, that cover about one third of total credits and are aimed at providing fundamental-type information by analyzing practical situations in the food chain. In spite of their inherent complexity and volume, biochemistry courses score very well with the students in mandatory anonymous surveys. Our approach to biochemistry courses seems to help the students in "visualizing" the practical implications of concepts acquired in other courses within their curricula. The students' appreciation is confirmed by the sizeable attendance to elective and specialized biochemical-themed courses. © 2019 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2019.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Biochemistry and molecular biology education : a bimonthly publication of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
ISSN: 1539-3429
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