The Measurement of the Energy Values of Lipids and Carbohydrates Components in Diet: Food as Source of Energy
The French scientist Antonio Lavoisier, in 1777 was the first chemist who described energy. Under the law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be destroyed or created, but only transferred. The scientist suggested that oxygen is consumed and carbon dioxide is given off, during respiration (Poirier, 1998). Food and beverages are a source of energy required to maintain all the human bodies physiological functions. In living organisms, this energy is usually quantified by indirect calorimetry. Humans derived their energy by a process called respiration, which involves the oxidation of energy of the carbohydrate, lipid and protein components of rich substances, within living cells, and this energy is measured in calories (Dunford and Doyle, 2012). Calories are not bad for the organism, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. In other words, the amount of energy consumed should be balanced with the amount of energy that the body requires (McGuire and Beerman, 2011). Lipids, according to Dunford and Doyle (2012), are the component that gives more fuel to the body, because of the greater density of energy, however carbohydrates require a small amount of energy to break down. Lipids require a large amount of energy to be broken down; the excessive energy, the body stores as reserve of energy, usually with form of fat (Debruyne et al., 2012).
The aim of the experiment was to determine the energy value (in kilocalories) of the carbohydrate and the lipid, and also to compare if the values obtained would be higher or lower than the true value for each food item using the Food Table provided.
The Griffin food calorimeter, which is a simplified bomb calorimeter, was used to determine the energy values (in kj per 100 g) of soyabean oil and whole pea meal (Sun, 2008).
A scale was use...