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by Emmajane99
Last updated 6 years ago


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Proteins are described as the building blocks of the body When genes in our DNA 'turn on' to activate genetic processes, it is to build different types of proteins which will determine how we look, grow and function

Proteins are very large molecules (MACRO molecules) made up of many units joined together. Units that make up proteins are called AMINO ACIDS. There are over twenty which can be joined together in any number of different combinations and sequences to make different proteins.Not all AMINO ACIDS are the same, and it is the molecule or side chain attached to this backbone that determines the type of amino acid. This side chain can be short, or long and complicated


The type and sequence of AMINO ACIDS that are joined together to make a protein will determine its propertiesIt can be SOLUBLE or INSOLUBLE in waterIt can be SOFT or JELLY-LIKEOr it can be TOUGH or ELASTIC as in ligaments or connective tissue in meat. The pictures below represent pure protein (KERATIN)Feathers, nails and hair


The AMINO ACID content of a protein determines its BIOLOGICAL VALUE, that is how well it meets the needs of your body. Many hundreds of amino acid units form just ONE protein. These amino acids are arranged in a very precise and specific order. When you eat food your body breaks the protein into amino acids it is made from and then uses them to build the types of proteins your body needs. A PROTEIN that supplies all of the amino acids needed in the right proportion has a HIGH BIOLOGICAL VALUE

If some of the AMINO ACIDS you need are not supplied by a dietary protein, it has a LOW BIOLOGICAL VALUE. You are unable to use the amino acids that are supplied unless you eat another protein at the same time so that your body can obtain the AMINO ACIDS it needs to make the protein it is building

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AMINO ACIDSWhen the amino acids are not used, the nitrogen is removed. This is called DEAMINATION. The remainder of the molecule is used for energy or converted to fat. The nitrogen is mainly excreted through urine.

PROTEINS are therefore made up of essential and non-essential amino acids. Amino acids that are built by the body are called NON-ESSENTIAL amino acids and amino acids that have to be provided by the diet are called ESSENTIAL amino acids


Year 11 Food Technology


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