George M. Carman, Ph. D.


Food Chemistry (11:400:411, undergraduate)

Description: The course applies basic scientific principles to food systems and practical applications. Chemical/biochemical reactions of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and other constituents in fresh and processed foods are discussed with respect to food quality. Reaction conditions and processes that affect color, flavor, texture, nutrition, and safety of food are emphasized. Students are given a role in the learning experience through research by student groups and class presentations and discussions related to real world problems associated with both the private and public sectors of the world.  Students take an active role in development and learning of course content (presented via Power Point presentations), which is available to class participants on the Food Chemistry web site. Student groups are given experiments that reinforce class discussions that are conveniently performed in the laboratory.  These include activation and control of enzymatic reactions in fruits and vegetables; consequences of water migration on food quality; gelatinization-retrogradation in starch-based foods (e.g., pudding, bread, and rice); initiation and control of non-enzymatic browning (e.g., pretzels, meat); and food emulsions (e.g., salad dressings, commutated meats products).  

Learning Outcomes: Students are expected to understand and be able to control the major chemical/biochemical (enzymatic) reactions that influence food quality with emphasis on home and food industry applications.  To understand how the properties of different food components and interactions among these components modulate the specific quality attributes of food systems, and to understand the principles that underlies the biochemical/enzymatic techniques used in food analysis.

Learning Assessments: Course content is assessed through written examinations, the depth and quality of formal class presentations, and class participation.  Emphasis is placed on problem solving related to real life situations.   Group projects are assessed through professionally prepared oral presentations and written reports.  Teamwork is critical to the project and grading.  Lecture/discussion will count for 75% of the final grade.  Laboratory reports will count for 25 % of the final grade.  Class participation will be factored into the final grade.

Food Enzymology (16:400:511, graduate)

Description: The course covers basic and applied aspects of the enzymology important to food systems. The basic aspects of the course include: methods of measuring enzymatic activities; extraction of enzymes from microbial, plant and animal systems; methods of enzyme purification and characterization; and regulation of enzyme activities by activators, inhibitors, and by covalent modification. Applied aspects of the course focus on enzymes used by the food industry and methods for controlling endogenous enzyme activities.  Students develop novel food concepts based on enzymatic reactions/processes.

Learning Outcomes: Students are expected to understand the enzymological aspects of food quality control that affects the color, flavor, and texture of fresh and processed foods.  Ability   to extract, isolate, and characterize enzymes that act on major food macromolecules is a major learning outcome of the course.

Learning Assessments: Course content is assessed through written examinations, oral, and written reports, and class participation.