Molecular Modeling Computer Modeling Of Functional Properties

One of the principal goals of food science and technology is to be able to modify the measurable functional properties of a food by specific changes to the structures of the component molecules. Examples of this type of manipulation of molecular properties include direct chemical modification of polymers, as in modified starches, and the preparation of mutant proteins through site-directed mutagenesis (1). Although this goal of control of functional properties can be occasionally achieved as the serendipitous result of random experimentation, in principle, successful design of novel functional properties requires an understanding of the way in which these functional properties depend on molecular structure.

In general, such an understanding involves a detailed knowledge of the atomic and molecular-level interactions responsible for macroscopic bulk properties. Unfortunately, this knowledge is often unavailable, because few experimental techniques can directly probe chemical processes in the necessary detail. Even in those cases where experiment can directly examine molecular structure, such as X-ray diffraction experiments, it generally remains unclear how the molecular architecture functions or how it might be modified to successfully alter its workings. Fortunately, recent developments in theoretical chemistry now allow molecular events to be directly simulated on fast computers. These developments not only permit us to learn how biopolymer systems function but also present the possibility of modeling numerically the effects of changes in a polymer structure, such as a series of active site mutations in a protein, without the time and expense of actually producing each of these mutants in the laboratory. Experimental studies can thus be made more efficient by only making those mutants that the simulations suggest might

Last, genetic errors or mutations in genes that encode specific proteins involved in micromineral metabolism have been described. These are listed in Table 8. These diseases are uncommon, yet their presence has allowed scientists to understand aspects of mineral metabolism previously unapproachable. Through the study of humans with Wilson's disease and Menkes disease, for example, an understanding of copper absorption and turnover was gained. Similar insights into the role of iron in the heme structure as well as iron-sulfur centers were gained through the study of hemochromatosis.

Berry Boosters

Berry Boosters

Acai, Maqui And Many Other Popular Berries That Will Change Your Life And Health. Berries have been demonstrated to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Each month or so it seems fresh research is being brought out and new berries are being exposed and analyzed for their health giving attributes.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment