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Introduction to Food: Macromolecules Analysis

Carbohydrates exist in both simple and complex forms. Some of the simple types of the macromolecule are monomers referred to as monosaccharides. These monomers include fructose, galactose, and glucose. Combinations of two of these monomers create a new class of carbohydrates known as disaccharides, which include lactose, sucrose, and maltose. When multiple monomers combine, they form carbohydrate polymers or complex sugars. The polymers include starch, fiber, and glycogen. In lipids, polymers are categorized into sterols, phospholipids, and triglycerides. Proteins are categorized into conjugated, derived, and simple proteins (Sheehan et al. 2020). Examples of simple proteins are albumins and globulins. The conjugated proteins include phosphoproteins and glycoproteins while the derived proteins are the peptides and denatured proteins.

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The various biochemical techniques are used to test for different macromolecules. According to Sheehan et al. (2020), Benedict’s test is used to test for sugars. While the reducing sugars react with Benedict’s solution when heated briefly giving a red-brown precipitate, the non-reducing sugar does not provide this color change. The iodine solution is used to test for starch whose presence results in the formation of a blue-black color. When the biuret test is used, the objective is to test for proteins. The reagent detects peptide bonds, a characteristic feature of proteins. The Sudan III and emulsion tests are used to test for lipids.

Each of the three macromolecules is required in the body where they perform specific functions. As such, an abundance or deficiency of any of the three causes a corresponding effect. For instance, the abundance of carbohydrates leads to the production of energy for growth, development, and other body activities (Sheehan et al. 2020). Excess carbohydrates are converted from their glucose form to starch and fats for storage. On the other hand, deficiency of carbohydrates may lead to abnormalities such as constipation, muscle cramps, and headache.

Reference

Sheehan, C. E., Nielsen, D. A., & Petrou, K. (2020). Macromolecular composition, productivity and dimethylsulfoniopropionate in Antarctic pelagic and sympagic microalgal communities. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 640, 45-61.

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