D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 6
Hours 54
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL 3A509


The following topics are propaedeutic to this teaching: adequate knowledge of  general chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry , physics .

Development of the course

The course consists of a total 6 Credits (ECTS) of class lectures and activities, including 2 Credits (ECTS) laboratory practicals .

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Adequate knowledge and understanding about the structure and structure-function relationship of biomolecules and biological macromolecules; basic knowledge about enzyme functioning and about biochemical energetics.


Applying knowledge and understanding:

Developing the ability to apply knowledge and comprehension of acquired notions in order to recognize the relationships between the chemical structure of biomolecules and their molecular biochemical functions, including their respective role in enzyme catalysis and kinetics, in the biochemical energetics, in the genetic information and metabolism, and food transformation whenever appropriate.




(a) making judgements: capability to identify the information of biochemical structural character needed to recognize structure-function relationship related to biochemical processes occurring either within organisms or in the raw food materials, that are instrumental to improve the efficiency of the food processes and the quality of the final food products;

(b) communication skills: ability to clearly and exhaustively communicating notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific expertises in the agro-food supply chain (engineers, biologists, chemists, nutritionists, advertisers, dealers, administrators).


1.Chemical-molecular logic and composition of living organisms: Structure-function relationships. Hydrocarbon backbone and functional groups in biomolecules; Water: biochemically relevant structural-functional properties; Hydrogen bond; Hydrophobic bond. (0.5 ECTS)

2. Lipids: structure, classes, properties, structure-function relationships. Fatty acids. Phospholipids; Biological membranes. Isoprenoids, steroids, eicosanoids. Liposoluble Vitamins. (0.5 ECTS).

3. Carbohydrates: structure, classes, structure-function relationships of Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, Polysaccharides. Glycosaminoglycans. Glycoconjugates. (1.25 ECTS)

4. Amino acids: structure, classes, structure-function relationships. Peptide bond. Protein structure and function relationships : Protein-ligand interactions. (1.25 ECTS)

5. Bases, Nucleotides and Nucleic acids (DNA; RNAs): Structure-Function Relationships. ATP, ADP, AMP. NAD and NADP. FAD. ( 0.75 ECTS)

6. Equilibrium and kinetics in the control of biochemical reactions. Principles of Bioenergetics. ATP and phosphoryl groups transfer in biosynthetic reactions and membrane transport. NAD and NADP in biological oxidation-reduction reactions. (1 ECTS)

7. Enzyme kinetics and catalysis; Michaelis-Menten equation. Allosteric enzymes. Reversible inhibition and irreversible inhibition. Enzyme regulation. Coenzymes and vitamin cofactors. (0.75 ECTS)

Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Written test about the topics listed in the Course Program, and Oral discussion.


Learning evaluation criteria

In the written test the student need to demonstrate to have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge of the topics  enclosed in the Course Program and proposed in the form “True/False” test. In order to be admitted to Oral discussion the student must achieve a score of at least 18/30 in the written test. In the subsequent Oral discussion the student will have to discuss  a topic among those included in the written test and  demonstrate to be adequately able to exploit his knowledge, in a structure-function perspective of and with proper lexicon.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is given in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 30 cum laude.


Final mark allocation criteria

The student will pass the examination when he demonstrates to possess adequate overall knowledge of the topics included in the course program and to express correctly the subjects using proper biochemical terminology.

The maximum mark of 30 cum laude will be awarded when the student demonstrates a deeper knowledge and understanding of the subjects, ability to draw biochemical structures, and fluency in the biochemical terminology, as well as ability to solve simple problems about subjects included in the course program.

Recommended reading

Nelson D.L., Cox M.M. “Introduzione alla Biochimica di Lehninger”. Zanichelli Ed.

  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

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