Review of books


Copyright: © 2017 CSIC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-by) Spain 3.0 License.

(In this section we publish reviews of the books from which we receive a copy in our library)

Food. The Chemistry of its Components, 6th edition. – T. Coultate.– The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2016.– XX + 599 pages.– ISBN 978-1-84973-880-4.

The Royal Society of Chemistry publishes a new edition of this book, which has become a classic book on Food Chemistry courses since its appearance in 1984. The book maintains the original structure and has the coherence of the texts written by only one author. Prof. Coultate shows once else his accumulated experience in teaching Food Chemistry. This new edition includes a new chapter dedicated to enzymes as well as the updating of all chapters. In general, all chapters contain new information that is mostly related to novel aspects of the subject, such as health effects that are nowadays the objective of numerous investigations. Each chapter contains numerous figures and schemes to facilitate the reading. In addition, they conclude with a section entitled “Special topics” where some topics related to the subject of the chapter are discussed in-depth. Furthermore, the final section of each chapter, entitled “Further Reading” (FR), includes a list of books or reviews of recommended reading for those wanting to know more about the discussed subject. The famous chef Heston Blumenthal has written the book foreword. He points out the importance of the Chemistry in the present cuisine, in which many new recipes are created based on the properties of some food components.

The book includes the following chapters: “Introduction” (6 pages, 3 FR); “Sugars” (48 pages, 14 FR); “Polysaccharides” (52 pages, 25 FR); “Lipids” (65 pages, 22 FR); “Proteins” (59 pages, 21 FR); “Colours” (69 pages, 28 FR); “Flavors” (56 pages, 23 FR); “Vitamins” (52 pages, 116 FR); “Preservatives” (26 pages, 10 FR); “Undesirables” (62 pages, 26 FR); “Minerals” (21 pages, 11 FR); “Enzymes” (26 pages, 7 FR); and “Water” (22 pages, 10 FR). The book also includes two appendices: “Nutritional requirements and dietary sources” (5 pages, 9 FR) and “Food additive regulations” (2 pages). This last appendix collects web pages addresses of different agencies related to food safety regulations, including agencies in EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Asia, South America, and Republic of South Africa.

In summary, an updated version of this popular textbook. It will be very useful for those teaching in Food Chemistry courses and, as H. Blumental says, also for chefs and anyone interested in foods.

R. Zamora