Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Foods: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Foods

1st Edition

By Christos Ritzoulis

CRC Press

224 pages | 56 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466511750
pub: 2013-04-23
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Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Foods provides an easy-to-understand text that encompasses the basic principles of physical chemistry and their relationship to foods and their processing. Based on the author’s years of teaching and research experience in the physical chemistry of food, this book offers the necessary depth of information and mathematical bases presented in a clear manner for individuals with minimal physical chemistry background.

The text begins with basic physical chemistry concepts, building a foundation of knowledge so readers can then grasp the physical chemistry of food, including processes such as crystallization, melting, distillation, blanching, and homogenization as well as rheology and emulsion and foam stability. The chapters cover thermodynamic systems, temperature, and ideal gases versus real gases; chemical thermodynamics and the behavior of liquids and solids, along with phase transitions; and the thermodynamics of small molecule and macromolecule dispersions and solutions.

The text describes surface activity, interfaces, and adsorption of molecules. Attention is paid to surface active materials, with a focus on self-assembled and colloidal structures. Emulsions and foams are covered in a separate chapter. The book also introduces some of the main macroscopic manifestations of colloidal (and other) interactions in terms of rheology. Finally, the author describes chemical kinetics, including enzyme kinetics, which is vital to food science. This book provides a concise, readable account of the physical chemistry of foods, from basic thermodynamics to a range of applied topics, for students, scientists, and engineers with an interest in food science.

Table of Contents

The physical basis of chemistry

Thermodynamic systems


Deviations from ideal behavior: Compressibility

Chemical thermodynamics

A step beyond temperature



Phase transitions


Application of phase transitions: Melting, solidifying, and crystallization of fats

Chemical potential

The thermodynamics of solutions

From ideal gases to ideal solutions

Fractional distillation

Chemical equilibrium

Chemical equilibrium in solutions

Ideal solutions: The chemical potential approach

Depression of the freezing point and elevation of the boiling point

Osmotic pressure

Polarity and dipole moment

Real solutions: Activity and ionic strength

On pH: Acids, bases, and buffer solutions

Macromolecules in solution

Enter a polymer

Is it necessary to study macromolecules in food and biological systems in general?

Flory–Huggins theory of polymer solutions

Osmotic pressure of solutions of macromolecules

Concentrated polymer solutions

Phase separation

Surface activity

Surface tension

Interface tension

Geometry of the liquid surface: Capillary effects

Definition of the interface

Surface activity



Surface-active materials

What are they, and where are they found?


Hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB), critical micelle concentration (cmc), and Krafft point

Deviations from the spherical micelle

The thermodynamics of self-assembly

Structures resulting from self-assembly

Phase diagrams

Self-assembly of macromolecules: The example of proteins

Emulsions and foams

Colloidal systems

Thermodynamic considerations

A brief guide to atom-scale interactions



Light scattering from colloids

Destabilization of emulsions and foams


Does everything flow?

Elastic behavior: Hooke’s law

Viscous behavior: Newtonian flow

Non-Newtonian flow

Complex rheological behaviors

How does a gel flow? (Viscoelasticity)

Methods for determining viscoelasticity

Elements of chemical kinetics

Diamonds are forever?

Concerning velocity

Reaction laws

Zero-order reactions

First-order reactions

Second- and higher-order reactions

Dependence of velocity on temperature


Biocatalysts: Enzymes

The kinetics of enzymic reactions



About the Author

Christos Ritzoulis studied chemistry at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and food science (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) at the University of Leeds. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and as an analyst at the Hellenic States General Chemical Laboratories. Today, Christos is a senior lecturer of food chemistry at the Department of Food Technology at TEI Thessaloniki, where he teaches food chemistry and physical chemistry of foods.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Physical & Theoretical
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical