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The Chemical Composition of Food Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2022


The food selected is Fish, cod, Atlantic, canned, solids, and liquid. Its edible portion size is 100 grams. The food item comprises 22.76 grams of proteins, the total lipid composition is 0.86 grams and the carbohydrate content is 0 grams. The energy composition of the food item is 105 kcal. Some of the most common vitamins present in the food item are Choline (8mg), vitamin A, RAE (14mg), retinol (14mg), vitamin A, IU (47mg), vitamin D (47 mg), Folate (8 mg) and Niacin (2.505 mg).

On the other hand, there are some minerals that are commonly found in food items. These are Potassium (528 mg), Phosphorus (260 mg), Selenium (38.1 mg), Sodium (218 mg), Magnesium (41 mg) and calcium (21 mg). The food item has some other important nutritional components. These include amino acids with the most common ones being glutamic acid, aspartic acid and lysine. Moreover, there is another lipid component in the food item that is cholesterol (USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, 2011). However, cholesterol is not important to the diet. There are three reasons for this.

First, it causes infiltration of arteries that is the main cause of death and disability of the majority, especially among the Europeans and Americans. Secondly, the liver makes most of the cholesterol in the body which is still not important and the body takes only about 50% of the cholesterol in the food eaten and the rest is eliminated from the body (Thompson, 2006, p. 100).


The food item contains 75.61g of water. Water has a solvent property which is due to its polarity. As a result, it is possible for most substances to dissolve in it. These include ionic solids like salts and polar molecules such as amino acids and sugar. Lipids are the only non-polar molecules that are insoluble in water but can dissolve when polar groups are added. The significance of this is in the development of cell membranes.

Secondly, the thermal property of water is its high specific heat capacity. Most biological processes proceed at narrow temperatures causing many organisms not to tolerate wide temperature changes. Therefore, “the high specific heat capacity of water helps to keep the temperature of organisms from varying too much (Roberts, Reiss & Monger, 2000, p. 12).”

Biological Molecule

The most important category of biological molecule in the food item is protein. Proteins are organic molecules that are complex and whose functions are performed through interactions with other molecules. They have three-dimensional structures at their molecular level. In their primary structure, the amino acids’ sequence constitutes the proteins. The polypeptide chain’s local folding form constitutes the secondary structure.

On the other hand, the way in which the secondary structure elements are patterned into a three-dimensional form constitutes the tertiary structure. In the tertiary structure, amino acids are joined by disulphide, hydrogen and ionic bonds. Enzymes are examples of tertiary structured proteins. The function of an enzyme is binding and catalyzing which is achieved through binding sites and catalytic sites respectively (Alhajj, 2007, p. 442).

Moreover, we have quaternary structures that comprise a combination of two or more tertiary structures. Haemoglobin is an example of a protein with a quaternary structure (Chen, 2005, p. 93-94). Haemoglobin in the red blood cells is used in the transport of oxygen in the body.


The recommended daily intake of an ounce for protein foods is between 2 to 6 ounces for all groups (children, boys, girls, men, and women). The portion of fish selected has equivalent ounces (USDA, 2011). Therefore, it is part of a recommended healthy and nutritional diet for the family.

Reference list

Alhajj. R. (2007). , ADMA 2007, Harbin, China, 2007: proceedings. NY: Springer.

Chen, Y.P., (2005). . NY: Springer.

Roberts, M., Reiss, M., & Monger, G., (2000). . Cheltenham, UK: Nelson Thomes.

Thompson., R. (2006). New Delhi: Mc-Graw Hill Professional.

USDA, (2011). Nutrient Data Laboratory. Search the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Fish, cod, Atlantic, canned, solids and liquid. Web.

USDA, (2011). Food Groups: What counts as an ounce equivalent in the protein foods group? Web.

USDA, (2011). How much food from the protein foods group is needed daily?

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