Chemistry and Biochemistry of Foods (AGCH3025)


This unit of study aims to give students an understanding of the properties of food constituents, and the interactions between these constituents during food processing, storage and digestion. The unit will develop an understanding of the relationship between form and functionality of constituents and the concept of fitness-for-purpose (i.e., quality) in converting agricultural products into foods. Students will gain an appreciation of the relationship between chemical composition and properties of macroconstituents (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids) and microconstituents (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavour and anti-nutritional chemicals) and their functions in plant- and animal-based foods. The material presented in lectures and practical classes will enable students to develop research and inquiry skills and an analytical approach in understanding the biochemistry of foods, food processing and storage. On completing this unit, students will be able to describe the chemical and biochemical properties of major food constituents, and demonstrate an understanding of the functionality of these constituents in food processing and nutrition. Students will have gained experience in laboratory techniques used in industry for the analysis of some food products, and information literacy and communication skills from the preparation of practical reports.

Further unit of study information


2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x4-hr practical fortnightly


1x2hr exam (40%) and 6 x lab reports (6x10%).


Lecture and laboratory notes will be made available through Blackboard. There is no recommended textbook.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

6 credit points of Intermediate Biochemistry or Chemistry


AFNR5102 or AGCH3017 or AGCH3024

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.