Nutritional Biochemistry


To acquire knowledge on the composition, ingestion, digestion and metabolism of food materials and on food-related diseases. To know topics on food-linked sensorial experiences. To know the main standards, regulations and legislation concerning food quality. To be qualified to present, analyze and discuss topics on human and animal nutrition and on food science and technology.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sofia Rocha Pauleta


Weekly - 2

Total - 28

Teaching language



Available soon


H. K. Biesalski, P. Grimm “Pocket Atlas of Nutrition”, Georg Thieme Verlag (2005)

Tom Brody, “Nutritional Biochemistry”, Academic Press, 1ª Ed., (1999)

 Paul  Insel, RElaine Turner, Don Ross “Nutrition”, Jones and Bartlett Publishers (2002)

Teaching method

Lectures  delivered using Datashow  with  contents  available in the syllabus internet page and  pratical study sessions  which  include  problem-solving   as well as   research and  discussion  on relevant topics. The assessment includes  two individual written  tests and the presentation and discussion of   a seminar.

Evaluation method

1. Frequence to the UC: presentation of an essay and presence in 2/3 of the lectures. Only the students that have frequency will be evaluated.

2. Grade of teory (75%):

(i) continuous evaluation by 2 written evaluations: the final teory grade will be the average of the 2 evaluations and has to be ≥ 9.5 values.

(ii) evaluation by final exam: the students that are not approved in the continuous evaluation can be evaluated in a final exam. The grade of the exame will the grade of the teory and has to be ≥ 9.5 values.

3. Grade of the seminar (25%). The grade of the seminar will have two components:

(i) Preparation of short description of the seminar with a maximum of 5000 caracters (including spaces) and an abstract with a maximum of 1000 caracters (including spaces) (15% of the final grade)

(ii) presentation of a poster (5% of the final grade)

(iii) Critical analysis of the poster/essay of another group (5% of the final grade)

4. The final grade will be given by: Final grade=75% teory grade + 25% seminar grade

To obtain approval to the UC the final grade has to be ≥ 9.5 values.

Subject matter

 Macro- and micronutrients in food and foodstuffs. Energy consumption and energy reserves in the human body. Basal and total metabolic rates and food thermal effect. Energy shortage / deprivation. Hunger.  Hormonal  controle of appetite. Mechanical, chemical and enzymatic processes involved in digestion, absorption and excretion.  Current name, structure, major food sources, intake levels and short description of the action of vitamins. Vitamin deficiency.  Identification, intake levels, functions, excess and failure situations and homeostasis of minerals. Food-linked pathologies. Sensory experience  associated to food intake. The fundamental tastes. Olfaction. Other senses associated with flavor.  Aditional topics on popular diets, food fashions, alcohol consumption. 


Programs where the course is taught: