BTEC HND LEVEL 5 Unit 43 Investigating the Properties of Food Molecules Assignment Sample UK

Course: Pearson BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals in Applied Sciences

The BTEC HND Level 5 Unit 43 Investigating the Properties of Food Molecules covers the scientific investigation of food molecules. The unit driving forces are to understand how the physical and chemical properties of food molecules relate to the overall quality of foods, and to develop an understanding of how these properties can be controlled in order to produce safe and nutritious foods.

One key property of food molecules that is important to understand is their physical state. Food molecules can exist as solid, liquid, or gas depending on the temperature and pressure applied to them. For example, sugar molecules are solid at most temperatures, but they melt when they come into contact with a liquid such as water.

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We are discussing some assignment briefs in this unit. These are:

Assignment Brief 1: Review the biochemical structures of macromolecules and enzymes.

A macromolecule is a molecule that is large enough to be seen with the naked eye. There are four main types of macromolecules: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids.

A carbohydrate is a molecule composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The simplest type of carbohydrate is a monosaccharide (one sugar molecule), such as glucose or fructose. Disaccharides (two sugar molecules) are formed when two monosaccharides join together. The most common disaccharide is maltose, which is made up of two glucose molecules.

A protein is a molecule composed of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that can be combined to form a protein. Proteins are essential for the structure and function of all living cells.

Lipids are molecules that are composed of fats, oils, and waxes. Lipids are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. The most common type of lipid is a triglyceride, which is made up of three fatty acid molecules attached to a glycerol molecule.

A nucleic acid is a molecule that contains the genetic information for all cellular life. Nucleic acids are made up of small subunits called nucleotides, which contain one sugar molecule, one phosphate group, and either an adenine or guanine base. There are two types of nucleic acids: DNA and RNA.

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Assignment Brief 2: Assess how the properties of carbohydrates in foodstuffs are affected by processing.

There are a variety of ways that carbohydrates can be processed, depending on the desired final product. For instance, complex carbohydrates such as starch can undergo hydrolysis to break down their long chains into smaller glucose molecules. This process is usually carried out with enzymes and is often used in food processing to create syrups or other simple sugars. Further processing of these simple sugars can produce more complex carbohydrates like maltodextrin or levulose.

Different processing methods will result in different properties for the carbohydrates present in foodstuffs. For example, hydrolysis will generally result in sweeter-tasting foods due to the presence of more simple sugars. However, other methods like crystallization can reduce sweetness while also producing a desired texture or appearance.

Overall, the properties of carbohydrates in foodstuffs can be affected by processing in many different ways. As a result, it is important to carefully consider how these properties may impact the final product and its quality.

Assignment brief 3: Investigate how the properties of proteins are of importance in food processing.

Proteins are molecules composed of amino acids. They are the building blocks of your muscles, hair, skin, and nails. Proteins play a major role in food processing because they are responsible for many biochemical reactions that take place in the body. without proteins, these reactions would not be able to occur. 

Proteins are viable targets for food processing because they can be denatured, or broken down, into their component amino acids. This process is called hydrolysis, and it can be used to tenderize meat or break down plant cell walls. Denaturing protein molecules makes them easier to digest and absorb, which is why hydrolyzed protein supplements are often recommended for people who have trouble digesting protein.

Proteins can also be modified to change their properties. For instance, enzymes are proteins that can be used to speed up chemical reactions. Enzymes are commonly used in food processing to improve the taste, texture, and shelf life of food products. Proteins can also be modified through cross-linking, which is the process of joining protein molecules together to form gels or other complex structures.

Overall, the properties of proteins are important in food processing because they can be used to change the taste, texture, and digestibility of foods. As such, it is important for food manufacturers to carefully consider how different protein processing methods may impact the final product.

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Assignment brief 4: Assess how the structures and properties of food lipids are affected during food processing.

Lipids are essential for human health and their structures and properties are dramatically changed during food processing. Lipids can be divided into three categories: triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols.

Triglycerides are the most common type of lipid and they are composed of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. Phospholipids are composed of two fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone as well as a phosphate group. Sterols include cholesterol, which is found in animal products, and phytosterols, which are found in plant products.

Lipids play many important roles in the body including acting as structural components of cell membranes, providing energy storage, helping to transport other molecules, and providing insulation.

During food processing, lipids are often exposed to high temperatures, which can denature them and cause them to become rancid. This process is called oxidation and it can dramatically alter the taste, texture, and shelf life of food products. Additionally, processing can also introduce new fats into the product that were not originally present. For example, vegetable oils are often added to processed foods to increase their nutritional value or improve their texture and taste.

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The following sample is based on Level 5 Unit 43 of BTEC HND, which inquires into the characteristics of food chemical molecules. This example simply aims to provide you with an impression of the structure, level, and type of content that might be expected in an HND assignment.

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