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•Food and Nutrition

(Sahle Teklie, MA in Tourism and Development)

Objectives of the course
After the completion of this course students will be able to:

 Know nutrients and their specific functions

 Understand the nature of food items according to their categories.

 Analyze the importance of proper nutrition to health

 Understand the biochemical nature and function of nutrients

 Know different biological processes and how their interaction is regulated in

terms of energy

Brief history of nutrition science
 The first controlled nutrition experiment

 (Turn of the century) Purified diets (containing only protein, fat, and carb

 Discovery of the vitamins (vita – life ) and the minerals

 Inter relationships among nutrients(1960S)

The importance of proper nutrition to food

 Pre and post birth

 Malnutrition
 Expanding population, inefficient agricultural methods, and unequal distributi
on of food, inadequate medical care

 Nutrition: is the science of nourishing the body properly or the analysis of
the effect of food on the living organisms

 The science of food, the nutrients and other substances therein, their actio
n, integration, and balance in relation to health and disease and the progre
ss by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilizes and
excretes food substances.

 Food is what we actually eat, it can be nutritious (nourishment) or not , it c

ontains the nutrients in different proportions, or just one nutrient, like in s

 The nutrients are different chemical compounds, needed to supply energy,

promote growth and maintenance of tissues, and regulate body process.

Functions of Food
 Physiological function: provide energy, regulate body processes and build a
nd maintain body tissues

 Social function: social occasions

 Psychological function: emotional needs

 A meal may be adequate nutritionally, it may not give a sense of genuine s


 Food customs


Why do people choose the foods they do?

 Flavor

 Other aspects of food (such as cost, convenience, nutrition)

 Demographics

 Culture and religion

 Health Social and emotional influences

 Food industry and the media

 Environmental concern


•The most important consideration when choosing something to eat is t

he flavor of the food

•Flavor is an attribute of a food that includes its appearance, smell, tast

e, feel in the mouth, texture, temperature, and even the sounds made w
hen it is chewed.

•Flavor is a combination of all five senses: taste, smell, touch, sight, and

• From birth, we have the ability to smell and taste.

• Most of what we call taste is really smell, a fact we realize when a col
d hits our nasal passages.

• Even though the taste buds are working fine, the smell cells are not,
and this dulls much of food’s flavor.


• Taste comes from 10,000 taste buds—clusters of cells that resemble t

he sections of an orange.

• Taste buds, found on the tongue, cheeks, throat, and roof of the mou
th, house 60 to 100 receptor cells each.

• The body regenerates taste buds about every three days.

• They are most numerous in children under age six, and this may expl
ain why youngsters are such picky eaters.

• These taste cells bind food molecules dissolved in saliva and alert the
brain to interpret them.

• Although the tongue often is depicted as having regions that speciali

ze in particular taste sensations—for example, the tip is said to detec
t sweetness—researchers know that taste buds for each sensation (s
weet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) are actually scattered around th
e tongue.

• In fact, a single taste bud can have receptors for all five sensations.

• We also know that the back of the tongue is more sensitive to bitter
and that food temperature influences taste.


• Demographic factors that influence food choices include age, gender

, educational level, income, and cultural background (discussed next)
. Women and older adults tend to consider nutrition more often than
do men or young adults when choosing what to eat.

• Older adults are probably more nutrition-minded because they have

more health problems, such as heart disease and high blood pressure
, and are more likely to have to change their diet for health reasons.

• Older adults also have more concerns with poor dental health, swall
owing problems, and digestive problems.

• People with higher incomes and educational levels tend to think abo
ut nutrition more often when choosing what to eat.

Culture and Religion

• Culture can be defined as the behaviors and beliefs of a certain socia

l, ethnic, or age group. A culture strongly influences the eating habits
of its members

• Each culture has norms about which foods are edible, which foods h
ave high or low status, how often foods are consumed, what foods a
re eaten together, when foods are eaten, and what foods are served
at special events and celebrations (such as weddings).

• In short, your culture influences your attitudes toward and beliefs ab

out food

• For example, some French people eat horsemeat, but Americans do

not consider horsemeat acceptable to eat. Likewise, many common
American practices seem strange or illogical to persons from other c
ultures. For example, what could be more unusual than boiling water
to make tea and adding ice to make it cold again, sugar to sweeten it,
and then lemon to make it tart?
• For many people, religion affects their day-to-day food choices. For e
xample, many Jewish people abide by the Jewish dietary laws, called
the Kashrut. They do not eat pork, nor do they eat meat and dairy pr
oducts together.


• Most people are trying to lose weight or keep from gaining it.

• Obesity and overweight can increase your risk of cancer, heart diseas
e, diabetes, and other health problems.

• What we eat influences our health

• Even if we are healthy, we may base food choices on a desire to prev

ent health problems and/or improve our appearance.

• A knowledge of nutrition and a positive attitude toward nutrition ma
y translate into nutritious eating practices.

Social and Emotional Influences

• People have historically eaten meals together, making meals importa

nt social occasions.

• Our food choices are influenced by the social situations we find ours
elves in, whether in the comfort of our own home or eating out in a r

• For example, social influences are involved when several members o

f a group of college friends are vegetarian.

• Peer pressure no doubt influences many food choices among childre
n and young adults.

• Even as adults, we tend to eat the same foods that our friends and ne
ighbors eat. This is due to cultural influences as well.

• Food is often used to convey social status.

• Emotions are closely tied to some of our food selections. As a child, y

ou may have been given something sweet to eat, such as cake or can
dy, whenever you were unhappy or upset. As an adult, you may gravi
tate to those kinds of foods, called comfort foods, when under stress

Food Industry and the Media

•The food industry very much influences what you choose to eat.

•After all, the food companies decide what foods to produce and where
to sell them.

•They also use advertising, product labeling and displays, information p

rovided by their consumer services departments, and websites to sell th
eir products.

•On a daily basis, the media (television, newspapers, magazines, radio, e

tc.) portray food in many ways: paid advertisements, articles on food in
magazines and newspapers, and foods eaten on television shows.

Environmental Concerns

•Some people have environmental concerns, such as the use of chemical

pesticides, and so they often, or always, choose organically grown food
s (which are grown without such chemicals—see Food Facts on page 30
for more information).

•Many vegetarians won’t eat meat or chicken because livestock and pou
ltry require so much land, energy, water, and plant food, which they con
sider wasteful.

The Nutrients and their Role in the Body
 We need food as a source of energy, for growth and maintenance of tissue
s, and for the regulation of body processes.

 Our food contains, apart from water, mainly carbohydrates (CHO), by far l
ess fat and protein, and vitamins and minerals in only very small amounts,
whereas the human body is made out of 2/3th water, quite high percentag
e of protein, fat and minerals and almost no carbohydrates.

Food/Day (%) Human Body

Water 83 64
Carbohydrates 10 1.5
Protein 2.5 17
Fat 2.5 14
Vitamins Ca:0.003
Minerals Ca:0.003 4

 Everyday we consume around 350 g of carbohydrate, but that doesn’t sho
w in the body composition at all.

 We can conclude that carbohydrate is being burnt in the body, it is the mai
n source of energy.

 On the other hand we eat only 15 – 20 g minerals daily, but the body contai
ns 2.5kg of minerals. So that means that they are built into the body, they
are part of the tissue (E.g. Skeleton)

 All the nutrients fulfill different functions, these functions are the follows.
 Source of energy- carbohydrate, fat (to little extent)

 Growth and maintenance of tissues- fat, protein, minerals, water

 Regulation of body processes- minerals, vitamins and water

Chapter Two

 Five forms of energy(Solar, chemical, electrical, thermal and mechanical)
 Living creatures like inanimate matter can neither create nor destroy energy
but can only transform it.

Function of Energy
 Animals differ from green plants in that they cannot utilize solar energy dire
 Green plants are able to prepare complicated organic substance like carbohy
drates, proteins, and fats from simple materials such as CO2, H2O, NH3 and S

 In this process the solar energy is used and converted to chemical energy wh
ich is stored in plants.

 Animals get their energy from their food in a chemical form which is derived
directly or indirectly from plants.
 This energy is bound in molecules of carbohydrates, protein or fat.
 It can be liberated and utilized in the following ways:
– In the performance of mechanical work (for the muscles, liver, heart, brain etc
– In maintaining the tissues of the body
– In maintaining the body temperature
– In promoting growth by the synthesis of new chemical substance rich in energy

 Most of the energy is dissipated as heat

 At best a man can convert 20 -25 % of the energy in his food into mechanical
 The heat developed when mechanical work is performed helps to maintain
the temperature of the body
 When extra heat is produced in the body by mechanical work, it will be use
d up for the evaporation of sweat and thus the body temperature is kept no
 Energy is expressed in two ways: either as a unit of Kilocalorie(Kcal) or of Ki
lo Joule(KJ)

 A Kilocalorie is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temper

ature of one liter of water by 1oC, so it is a unit of heat production.

 A Kilo Joule is defined as the movement 1 Kg over 1 m by a force of 1 N. It is

a measuring unit for electrical work, heat, mechanical work and other ener
gies in all sciences.(1 Kcal= 4.2 KJ)

Energy Need and Expenditure

Basal Metabolic Rate

 When the body is in a comfortable position, warm and relaxed physically an
d mentally at rest, metabolism is at its lowest rate.

 The rate at which energy is liberated within the body as a whole for the life
processes (the activities of the heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs, as w
ell as the metabolic processes within the cells), is known as the basal metab
olic rate (BMR),

 taken 12 – 18 hours after the last intake of food.

 Basal metabolism is not the same for all people at all times in all countries it
is related to:
 Sex: normally it is higher in men than in women.

 Body size: the greater the surface area of a body, the greater is the basal me

 Age: up to the age of 20 years basal metabolism increases and decreases gr

adually after this age.

 Climate: in the tropics it is approximately 10 % less than in the northern and

southern hemispheres.

 State of health: if a person has a fever, basal metabolism increases by about

7 % for every degree rise in body temperature.

 Pregnancy and lactation: during pregnancy and while lactating the basal me
tabolic rate increases.
 A simple method of finding the approximate basal metabolism of a person
is to take the weight of the person and allow 1 kcal for 1 kg body – weight (
b w) for every hour of the day


A person weighting 70 kg would have a BHR of 1×70×24 = 1,680 kcal / 24 hours.


In KJ : 4.2×70×24 = 7,056 KJ / 24 hrs.

Physical Activity
 Physical activity uses a lot of energy

 It is the most important single factor affecting energy expenditure and exp
lains to a large extent the variations in the need of people

 The energy required for physical activities above the BMR is a function of th
e type of activity, the duration of activity and the size of the individual perfo
rming it

 75 % of the energy expended in most activities is involved in moving the bod


 It is common practice to base estimate of energy needs for activity on body


 So energy cost of various activities are being given per unit of body weight

Activity Kcal / kg bw / hrs Kj/ kg bw / hrs

Bicycling 2.5 10.5

Awake 0.1 0.42

Dressing 0.7 2.94

swimming 7.9 33.18

Writing 0.4 1.68

 But because it would be very difficult to record the amount of time spent in
every activity separately all activities have been grouped in light, moderate
, heavy and very heavy work

 Appropriate figures (again exclusive of the BMR) for these different groups
are given below:
• Light work – 0.5 – 1.0 Kcal /kg bw /hr, like office workers.

• Moderate work – 1.0 – 2.1 Kcal / kg bw / hr, shop assistant etc.

• Heavy work – 2.1 – 3.0 Kcal/ kg bw / hr, carpenter and farmer.

• Very heavy work – 3.0 – 10.00 Kcal/ kg bw / hr or more, certain athletes

Maintenance of Body Temperature

 A healthy person has a constant body temperature of 37OC.

 Man is warm-blooded and his body temperature (the temperature of his blo
od) doesn’t change with his surroundings.
 That means that energy is needed to maintain the temperature of the body
 When the temperature of the air is lower than that of the body
 Evaporation of moisture from the skin and from the lungs is also responsibl
e for great amount of heat lost by the body.
 If the air is dry, evaporation will be more rapid than if there is humid
 The amount of heat used by the body to maintain the blood temperature wi
ll vary and will depend on:
• the outside humidity and temperature (climate)
• the protection against loss of heat by the amount and thickness of the clothing
• the ventilation of the room
• and other external conditions.

 But there are no easy ways to calculate the energy need for the maintenanc
e of body temperature. 31
 That means that energy is needed to maintain the temperature of the body
 When the temperature of the air is lower than that of the body
 Evaporation of moisture from the skin and from the lungs is also responsibl
e for great amount of heat lost by the body.
 It the air is dry, evaporation will be more rapid than if there is humid
 The amount of heat used by the body to maintain the blood temperature wi
ll vary and will depend on:
• the outside humidity and temperature (climate)
• the protection against loss of heat by the amount and thickness of the clothing
• the ventilation of the room
• and other external conditions.

 But there are no easy ways to calculate the energy need for the maintenanc
e of body temperature. 32
Specific Dynamic Action of Food
 The ingestion of food causes an increase in energy needs not only for the di
gestion, absorption, and transportation of the nutrients but also as a result
of a general, stimulation in metabolism that follows the ingestion of food
 This effect has been referred to as the specific dynamic action of food.
 This effect of food amounts to about 10% of the total energy needed for bas
al metabolism and activity

Total Energy Requirement

 To measure the total energy requirements of a person accurately, it would b
e necessary to know:
 These are extremely difficult facts to estimate accurately and require a spec
ial technique to do so.

 The best (and the easiest) way to judge whether a person is getting the righ
t amount of food for his energy needs is by weight changes and health.

 But to get an idea of the total energy needs of a person, some calculations c
an be done to estimate this value:

 As an example of lets take a person, 25 years old, body weight 65kg, living i
n a moderate climate, who does moderate work for 8 hours a day and sleep
s for 8 hours, calculate the total energy need of this person.

Energy Value of Food
 Our food is composed of different nutrients, protein, carbohydrate, fat, min
erals, vitamins and water. Of these only protein, fat and the carbohydrates s
upply the body with energy.

 There are ways to measure the measure the energy obtained from these nu
 Direct calorimetry : foodstuffs are placed in a small chamber of a bomb calorime
ter and burnt. The heat liberated is measured.

 Indirect calorimetry : The oxygen used in burning the nutrients in the body and t
he carbon dioxide produced are measured.

 But the energy obtained by man (as well as animal) from food ingested is le
ss than that released from the same food when is oxidized in the bomb calo
 In the calorimeter foods are completely oxidized to carbon, water and nitro
us oxide.

 However, the physiological values are different; the energy available to the
body is the gross energy of the diet minus the losses in the urine and the fac

 Foods eaten are not completely digested (resulting in energy losses in the f
aces) and the nitrogen of protein is not completely oxidized (resulting in en
ergy loss in the nitrogen- containing compounds excreted in the urine)

 Digestibility varies from one food to another for each of the energy loss in t
he nitrogen – containing compounds excreted in the urine.

 Digestibility varies from one food to another for each of the energy nutrien

 The average physiological fuel values were determined by taking the means
of the values for the heat of combustion and the coefficients of digestibility
of various food and food groups.

 The rounded figures are:

 1g carbohydrate = 4 kcal = 17 KJ

 1g protein = 4 kcal = 17 KJ

 1g fat = 9 kcal = 38 KJ

 1g alcohol = 7 kcal = 30 KJ

Nutrient Requirement

 It is not sufficient to know the daily energy need of a person, the daily requi
rements of the nutrients have to be defined as well.

 There are several ways to determine: One of the easier methods is to relate
the nutrient requirements to-the energy needs.
 There are several ways to determine: One of the easier methods is to relate
the nutrient requirements to-the energy needs.

 It is said that the energy should come from the three energy giving nutrient
s in the following proportion: 55% from carbohydrate, 15% from protein, and
30% from fat

 Now it can quite easily be calculated exactly how many grams of carbohydr
ate, fat, and protein should be consumed in a day, if the total energy need i
s known

 Example : Someone has a need of 2,000Kcal/day. Determine this person’s pro

portion of requirements of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Change in to gram

Chapter Three
Nutrients and Their Functions

 The carbohydrate (CHO), or saccharides (sacchar – sugar), are quantitativel
y the most important nutrient for the human organism

 They are being formed within the plants with the help of the energy of the
sun under presence of chlorophyll (leaf green).

 This is the only known process at which an organic nutrient comes into bein
g from inorganic elements; it is called photosynthesis.

 For that reason the carbohydrates can be regarded as the primary products
for the synthesis of fat and protein

 So it can be justly said; life depends directly or indirectly on the carbohydrat


Structure of mono-, Di-, and polysaccharides
 All carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
 A simple carbohydrate molecule is one with six carbon atoms arranged in a
chain with atoms of hydrogen and oxygen in a ration 2:1.


 It is sometimes called dextrose or grape sugar and is widely distributed in n


 It is found in fruits, vegetables, honey, corn syrup and molasses

 In animals and men it is an end product of the digestion of starch, maltose a

nd lactose.

 Glucose is found in the blood stream of animals and men (blood glucose lev
el: in diabetes the level is too high).

 Fructose, which is the sweetest of all sugars, is also known as fruit sugar.

 It is found in the nectar of flowers, honey, fruits, and vegetables

 It is produced during digestion in the hydrolysis of sucrose.


C6H12O6 + C6H12O6 C12H22O11 + H2O

Monosacch +Monosacchride (hydrolysis / digestion) disacch. + water


 They are being formed out of two monosaccharides.

Sucrose (glucose + fructose )
 When we talk about “sugar” we always mean the carbohydrate sucrose

 White and brown sugar (beet or cane sugar) are almost 100% sucrose.

 Molasses contain more than 50 % sucrose.

 Because of the added sugar, fruit jellies and jams are also high in sucrose.
Maltose (glucose +glucose)
 Unlike sucrose, maltose is not consumed in large mounts in an average diet.

 Maltose is found in sprouting grains and malted cereals.

 It is formed in the body as an intermediate\ product of starch digestion

Lactose (glucose + galactose )

 Lactose (milK sugar ) is found only in milk.

 The amount of lactose in human and cows milk is 6.8 and 4.8 mg / 100 ml res
pectively. 43

 The polysaccharides are much more complex and are considered starches ra
ther than sugars, because they are not sweet.

 They are composed solely of glucose units linked to gather in long chains.

 A polysaccharide may contain several hundred or even several thousand glu

cose units.

 The most important polysaccharides are starch, glycogen and cellulose.


 Starch is the most available carbohydrate in man’s diet.

 It is made up of straight or branching chains of glucose units.

 Starch grains usually contain two polysaccharides derived from glucose, am

ylose, and amylo- pectin.

 Amylose is a long un-branched chain of glucose units 44

 Amylopectin, the major component of most starch grains, is a highly branch
ed molecule, with about 12 glucose units in each branch.

 Roots, seeds, and tubers all contain starch. Cereals more than 70%, legumes
around 50%, potatoes, 15%

 Starches are not soluble in cold water but when boiled with water they for
m a paste, which facilitates the enzymatic digestive process.


 Animal store a limited amount of carbohydrate in the form of the polysacch

aride glycogen, which is composed of up to 100,000 glucose units.

 It is stored primarily in liver and muscle, the only animal tissues aside from
milk and blood that contain carbohydrate

 The adult human stores about 340 g of glycogen, 140 g as liver glycogen and
200 g as muscle glycogen.

 Like starch and glycogen it is composed of many glucose units, as many as 1


 It is the most abundant organic compound of the world. It is the structural c

onstituent of plant cell wall which is their skeletal part.

 Human beings and carnivores do not have the enzymes to digest cellulose. I
ts function in man’s diet is as a part of dietary fiber.

 Studies showed people ingesting diets high in fiber were less likely to devel
op certain diseases of the colon and metabolic disorders

The function of carbohydrates

 The main function is to supply energy for the body. The central nervous syst
em is entirely dependent on glucose for energy.

 It save protein: If a person eats a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, the dai

ly protein requirements are being minimized, because no protein will be wa
sted to provide energy.

 Carbohydrate forms an energy reserve. The body can store carbohydrate in f

orm of glycogen in the liver (140 g) and in the muscle (200g).

 The glycogen can quickly be utilized in times of need. But a superabundant c

arbohydrate intake will be converted into fat.

 Carbohydrate serves specific functions in the body:

 Lactose aids in the absorption of calcium .

 Ribose is a constituent in the important compounds DNA and RNA 47

 Heparin, also a carbohydrate, impedes the coagulation of blood.

 Cellulose is part of the dietary fiber

Carbohydrate –rich food sources:

 Until recently nutritionists considered the lipid component of the diet only i
mportant as a concentrated source of energy and little else.

 It is now recognized that at least one component of the lipids is a dietary es


Classification of Lipids

 Fats in food include

 Visible fats and oils- such as butter salad oil and fat surrounding meat and et

 Invisible fats- such as the fat hidden in food like avocado, nuts, cakes, cooki
es, eggs, milk, cheese etc.

The Structure of lipids

 Like carbohydrates lipids are composed of the there elements carbon, hydr
ogen, and oxygen.

 But the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen and carbon is much lower 1:7 to 1:30.

 The main form of fats both in food stuffs and in the storage depots of most
animal is the triglyceride.

Function of the lipid – related substances

 Formation of structural membranes within the body to prevent the absorption
of water – soluble substance and water evaporation from the skin.

 One of the lipid – related substances is a component of thromboplastin, a su
bstance that initiates blood clotting.
 Acts as an insulator around nerve fibers.

 Most of the cholesterol is used by the liver to form bile

 Most of the hormones of the adrenal cortex and certain ones of the ovaries and

testes are derivates of cholesterol.

 The adrenal cortex is located near the kidneys, secretes minerals and gluco-cort

icoids which control the chemical constitution of body fluids, metabolism and s

econdary sexual characteristics. The hormones of the ovaries are progesterone

and estrogen, the ones of the testes the testosterones.

Functions of fats and other lipids:

Sources of Energy

 Fats and oils are sources of energy in the diet.

 They are the most concentrated form of energy in food, 9 Kcal or 38kj per g
ram, yielding more than twice as much as energy per gram as either carboh
ydrates or protein.

Energy Store

 Fat forms the greatest energy store in the body.

 The adipose tissue is a large organ and very variable in size.

 In a healthy man it may amount to some 8 – 15 kg, in a healthy woman to 10

to 20 kg.

 In very emaciated patients it is reduced to about 1 kg, and some very obese
people carry around over 100 kg!

 Its distribution in the body is also uneven.

 In any case, fat is the greatest store of energy in man and animal (see the fa
t in hibernating animals).

 These stores result from the consumption of an excessive quantity of energ

y from one or a combination of the energy yielding nutrients.

Nonconductors of Heat

 In the body, fats are deposited under the skin where they function as nonco
nductors of heat, help to insulate the body, prevent rapid loss of heat and p
rotect hair and skin from water.

 Also, cushions of fat support the viscera (internal organs)

Carriers of essential substances

 Fat are carriers of essential fat soluble substances:

 Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are important for the building of all cell structur
es, like membranes, nucleus, mitochondrion etc.

 So the lack of EFAs leads to serious metabolic disorders.

 Fat – soluble vitamins can only be absorbed when fats are present. Fat-so-lu
be vitamins are A, D, E, and K.

Food Rich in Fats


 The most important vegetable oils and fats are the following cottonseed. Gr
oundnut,-soya bean, palm kernel , sunflower oil

Butter and Margarine 54

 Protein has been recognized as a dietary essential for at least a century bef

 The multitudes of roles it fills (– as a structural component of body tissues, as

enzymes, hormones, transport proteins, as a regulator of fluid balances )expl
ains why it is called protein, meaning to come first (Greek).

 So proteins are the most important of all nutrients, no life is possible witho
ut proteins.


 Proteins are extremely complex substances, containing carbon, hydrogen, o

xygen, nitrogen and in many protein sulfur, and in some phosphorus, iron, i
odine, and cobalt are found.

Classification of Proteins and Amino Acids

 The structural units of proteins are amino acids (AA).

 There are 20 different naturally occurring amino acids.

 Chemically all amino acids are composed of :

 a carboxyl! Group (-COOH), a hydrogen atom (-H), an amino group (-NH2), a
nd an amino acid radical (-R) attached to a carbon

 Because of the great number of proteins, attempts have been made to class
ify them:

 Simple proteins are made solely of amino acids. Examples are;
– Albumin, in eggs

– Zein, in maize

– Keratin, in hair

– Globin, in hemoglobin

 Compound proteins are compounds of a protein with some other non-prote

in molecules.

 Examples are;
– Hemoglobin = protein + heme ( a pigment )

– Casein = protein + phosphoric acid, in milk

– Mucin = protein + carbohydrate, in saliva

– Lipoprotein =protein + lipid, in blood

 Simple proteins are made solely of amino acids. Examples are;

 Still another classification is by conformation of the protein.

 That refers to the three – dimensional shape of proteins.

 We know two major class; fibrous proteins and globular proteins.

Properties of Proteins

 Many water – soluble proteins, when subjected to heat at about 100OC or ab

ove, as in the formal process of cooking, they coagulate

 The change of the white of an egg on boiling is a familiar example.

 Once a protein has undergone this process of coagulation its properties are
permanently changed.

 It can never be brought back into simple solution in water and its specific pr
operties, e.g. enzymatic, hormonal or immunological are destroyed.
 Proteins also undergo lesser changes, known as denaturation, in which they
become less soluble in water.

 This occurs when they are exposed to a variety of agents such as moderate
heat, ultraviolet light, or alcohol, and mild acids or alkalis.

 To a certain extent it is a reversible process, once normal conditions are rest


Food Rich in Protein

 Although protein is widely distributed in nature, little food contains large a


 Animal food, such as meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs, contains high-quality

 Plants are also a significant source; soybeans are high in protein content an
d its protein is of a high value.
 Other legumes provide a good quantity of protein, but of a comparatively l
ow value.

 Fruits and vegetables provide little protein, sugars, syrups, pure fat and oils
have none.

 Milk, cheese, eggs, fish and meat

 94% of body weight is made up of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
nitrogen and of water.

 The remaining 6%, about 4 kg, in an adult male, is made up of as many as 60

different minerals elements.

 Approximately 21 of these have been proved essential in human nutrition.

 The essential mineral elements are often grouped as macronutrients and mi
cronutrients / trace minerals.

 Macronutrient elements are present in relatively large amounts in animal ti

ssue; microelements, or trace elements are present at less than 0.005 % of b
ody weight

 essential that the term ‘trace’ not be defined to mean unimportant

 Even though some are needed in inconceivable small amounts, they are as i
mportant to body function as those nutrients needed in high amount

Essential Macronutrient Elements Essential micronutrient elements

Calcium , ca (bones, teeth) Iron

Phosphorous, p (nervous tissue ) Zinc

Phosphorus k Copper

Sodium Iodine,

Chlorine, magnesium Vanadium, tin, arsenic


In the red blood cells

 Most of the iron in the blood is located in the red blood cells (erythrocytes).

 It is found there in hemoglobin, a compound made up of an iron- containing

pigment and protein.

 In the lungs hemoglobin combines loosely with oxygen to from oxy -hemog
lobin, this compound carries oxygen to the tissues and releases it there.

 Although iron constitutes less than 1 % of the hemoglobin molecule, it is the

essential component.

In muscle tissue

 Iron is found in the muscle calls in two combinations, as myoglobin and as a

constituent of certain enzymes.

• Myoglobin is similar to hemoglobin in structure and function (myoglobin -a

red protein containing haem, which carries and stores oxygen in muscle cell

 It stores oxygen temporarily in the muscle for use primarily in aerobic meta

Food sources:

 Iron is present in most foodstuffs, but its content in plants tends to very acc
ording to the soil.

 The richest plant sources are green leaves, followed by vegetables and fruit
s roots or animal products.
 Cereals contain almost twice as much iron as starchy roots, while fish and m
eat contain good quantities , the red teff contains the astonishing amount

 The essential trace mineral iodine is present in the body in little amount abo
ut 0.00004% of body weight (15 to 23 mg )or one hundredth of the amount o
f iron in healthy human adult.

 Of that 70 to 80 % is concentrated in a single tissue, the thyroid gland

 Here the level of iodine used in the synthesis of the hormone thyroxin is 20
times that of the blood supplying it

 The remaining 20 to 30 % of the iodine is in the other tissues, particularly in t

he salivary, mammary or gastric glands and in the kidneys.

 In the circulation it occurs either as free iodine or as protein- bound iodine.

 In the circulation it occurs either as free iodine or as protein- bound iodine.

 Generally importance of minerals can be summarized as:

 Maintenance of acid-base balance

 Catalysts for biological reactions

 Components of essential body compounds

 Maintenance of water balance

 Transmission of nerve impulses

 Regulation of contractibility of muscles

 Growth of body tissue

 were the last group of dietary essentials to be recognized.

 Their presence in food is correspondingly low

 The minimum need for a vitamin varies from a low of a few micrograms for
cobalmine (vit b12) to a high of 60 mg for ascorbic needed at a hundred or t
housand times that level.

 The first vitamin was discovered in 1913, it was the fat soluble vitamin A, the
last vitamin, the vitamin B12, in 1948.

 Vitamins are now defined as organic substances, needed in very small amou
nts, that perform a specific metabolic function and must be provided in the
diet of the animal.

 Plants can manufacture vitamins from the elements available to them from
the soil. 67
 The word vitamin uses byFunk a Polish biochemist, vita (meaning life) and a
mine indicating the chemical strucure.

Vitamin A Retinol
Vitamin D Calcitriol
Vitamin E Tocopherol
Vitamin K Phyllochinon
Vitamin B1 Thiamin
Riboflavin Vitamin B2 Complex
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin
Vitamin H Biotin
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid



 Some of the vitamins serve as coenzymes. All of the B-vitamins belong to th

is group as well as biotin and vitamin K

 Certain enzymes are protein enzymes.

 They catalyze catabolism and anabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat


 Partly they can be synthesized in intestinal flora

 For that they are found in cells

Specific functions

 Other vitamins A,D,C and E serve specific function in organisms

 They are not coenzymes, but they are found in in the blood or only in specifi
c cells.

 They cannot be synthesized in the intestinal flora


 Fat soluble and water soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble (A,D,E,K) Water soluble

Soluble in fat and fat solvents Soluble in water
Intake in excess of daily need stored in Minimal storage of dietary excess
the body- hypervitaminosis is possible
Small amounts excreted in bile Excreted in urine
Deficiency symptoms slow to develop Deficiency systems often develop rapid
Not absolutely necessary in the diet dai Must be supplied everyday in the diet

Fat-soluble (A,D,E,K) Water soluble
Have precursors Generally don’t have precurssors
Contain only elements C,H or O Contain elements C,H,O,N and sometim
es Co or S

Absorbed in lymphatic system Absorbed in blood through portal vein

Needed only by complex organism Needed by simple and complex organis

Related Substances

 Two groups of compounds chemically related to vitamins are nutritional im

portance- vitamin precursors and vitamins


 Precursors or pro-vitamins are substances that are chemically related to the

biochemically active form of the vitamin but have no vitamin activity until t
he body converts them into the active form. Eg. Carotene into Vitamin A


 Vitamin antagonists or pseudo-vitamins

 Used by the body to produced important but scared vitamins

Vitamin A


Function in Vision

 The retina of the eye has two kinds of photoreceptor cells: the rods and the

 The terms “cone” and “rod” are derived from the shape of the cells.

 The rods are sensitive to light of low intensity and function in dim light and
the cones are sensitive to high intensity and provide color vision.

 Rhodopsin (visual purple) is the pigment in the rods that contains vitamin A
whereas iodopsin is found in cones

 All of the visual pigments are composed of the same vitamin A fraction = ret
inol, but of different proteins

 If, as in a person suffering from severe vitamin A deficiency, the level of vita
min A in the blood becomes reduced, there will be not enough rholopsin in
the rods to be sensitive to dim light, the eyes will not adapt to darkness

 This person then suffers from night blindness.


 Before vitamin A had been isolated and its chemical formula determined its
potency in food was measured by the growth rate.

 If the intake of vitamin A is not sufficient for normal growth, the bones will
stop growing before the soft tissues are affected.

 If the intake of vitamin A is not sufficient for normal growth, the bones will
stop growing before the soft tissues are affected

 The function of vitamin A in bone growth has been attributed to its role in t
he conversion of immature cells to osteoblasts
 Osteoblasts are responsible for the increase in the number of bone c

 They are also necessary for the breakdown of bone cells as the bone
is remodeled during growth.
Health of the epithelial tissues
 The epithelial tissues cover the outer surface of the body and line the
major cavities and all of the tubular systems within the body.

 These tissues are differentiated (specialized ):

 the external covering is the resistant, protective epidermis ;

 the internal tissue is a secretor of mucous membrane.

 Insufficient vitamin A causes a suppression of the tissues specialized

functions and produces a keratinized (dry horny ) type of epithelium.
 Osteoblasts are responsible for the increase in the number of bone cells

 They are also necessary for the breakdown of bone cells as the bone is rem
odeled during growth.
Health of the epithelial tissues
 The epithelial tissues cover the outer surface of the body and line the major
cavities and all of the tubular systems within the body.

 These tissues are differentiated (specialized ):

 the external covering is the resistant, protective epidermis ;

 the internal tissue is a secretor of mucous membrane.

 Insufficient vitamin A causes a suppression of the tissues specialized functio

ns and produces a keratinized (dry horny ) type of epithelium.

 In the absence of vitamin A the male’s body fails to produce sperm cells and
the female’s body reabsorbs the fetus.
Other Functions

 Vitamin A is essential for the normal function of four of the five senses; visi
on, smell, hearing and taste.

 While the role of vitamin A in vision has been defined as previously describe
d, the mechanisms by which vitamin A maintain the other senses have not b
een identified.

 The loss of appetite in a vitamin A deficiency has been attributed to change

s in the taste buds.

Food Sources

• Preformed vitamin A is found only in food of animal origin, whereas carote

ne is found in both plant and animal products.

• Good sources of vitamin A are whole milk, butter, egg yolk, liver and kidney.

Vitamin C


 It is believed that the main function of vitamin C is in collagen formation, as

well as protein, fat and lipid metabolism.

 Ascorbic acid is necessary for the proper formation and maintenance of inte
rcellular material.

 This is more easily understood if vitamin C is thought of as being an essentia

l part of the substance that binds cells together in the same way that cemen
t binds bricks together.

 This function of vitamin C explains most of the symptoms that appear in scu

 It is also said that certain parts of the protein metabolism depend on the pr
esence of vitamin C.
 It is also said that certain parts of the protein metabolism depend on the pr
esence of vitamin C.

 It may also have a role in the metabolism of cholesterol in increasing the abi
lity of liver to convert cholesterol into bile. The body’s use of the mineral iro
n is related to the presence of vitamin C as well.

Dietary Sources

• The main source of vitamin C in most diets are fruits, vegetables, and variou
s leaves.

Vitamin loss through food preparation

 Vitamin C is the most fragile vitamin.

 It is highly soluble in water, it tends to be easily oxidized, it is not affected b

y light, but is destroyed by prolonged heating processes

 This is aggravated when especially when in alkaline solution.

 An average vitamin C loss through cooking appears to be 40%, but losses oc

cur through storage as well.

Chapter Four

Building Material

 As building material water is needed in each cell of the body.

• The tissues vary in their water content fatty tissues – 20 % (muscle tissue in wh
ich the contractile fibrils are aligned in parallel bundles, occurring in the muscles
attached to bones and under voluntary control), muscles 75 % blood plasma 90 %

 As solvent water is used in digestion, where it aids in the mastication and the
softening of food and it facilitates the movement of material along the digest
ive tract.

 The nutrients, in a state of solution, are absorbed thought the intestinal wall i
nto the blood and are carried directly to the liver by way of the portal vein
 Within the cells, water is the medium in which intracellular chemical reactio
ns take place.

 The blood, which is about 90 % water, collects the waste products from the c
ells and carries them to the lungs, the kidneys, or for excretion

 Water is the major constituent of all body fluids including digestive juices, b
lood, lymph, urine and perspiration

 It serves as a lubricant in the joints and between the internal organs.

 It bathes the body cell, keeping the moist, permitting the passage of the su
bstances between the cells and the blood vessels.

Regulation of body temperature

 Water helps to regulate the body temperature.

 There is always some loss of heat by evaporation from the skin and the lung
s. 82
 Even when the temperature is a comfortable 23 to 25c, water loss is about 6
00 ml per day and heat is dissipated at the rate of 12 to 18 kcal / hours.

 Sweating varies according to the temperature of the environment and the a

mount of physical activity it could range from 0 to 2 liter or more per hour.

 The centers that regulate sweating are located in the hypothalamus.

 They respond to the elevation in blood temperature above normal, causing i

ncreases sweating and evaporation (if the humidity is not too high ), thus lo
wering the body temperature.

Sources of Water


 The largest fluid intake is from this source.

 The average person consumes a total of about 1 to 1.5 liter of liquid each day
, be it water, coffee, tea, soup, milk fruit juice and others.

Solid food

 The water content of food varies widely, but most food contain more than 7
0 % e.g. bananas – 76%, potatoes – 80 %, whole milk – 87 %, watermelon – 93 %
biscuits – 27 %

Metabolism of energy nutrients

 Water is formed during the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat w

ater is continuously being supplied by this source because of the constant o
xidation of food. 84
 However, the amount of water formed by different nutrition’s very about 0.
6 g water / g carbohydrate, 1.07 g water/ g fat, and 0.41g water /g protein.

Water Excretion


 The largest amount of water normally lost from the body is though the kidn
eys, which excrete from 1 to 2 liter of urine each day.

 The urinary output varies according to the liquid intake, the type of food co
nsumed, and the amount of water lost through the skins and lungs.

 As the blood flows through the kidneys, its composition is modified accordi
ng to the body’s need for the various constituents it carries

 In general, when the body’s need is greater, less of the constituent is excret
ed by the kidneys.

 This process is being regulated through the hormone vasopressin, excreted
by the hypothalamus


 Water is lost from the skin through perspiration and sweating.

 The amount of water lost through the skin depends upon physical activity, e
nvironmental and body temperature, humidity and wind velocity.


 A bout 400 ml of water in the form of vapor is lost through the lungs each d

 This amount will be increased, if the inspired air is very dry, in the dry cold a
ir of the mountains and in high altitudes.

Intestinal Tract

 Only small amount of water is excreted through the feces. 86