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Food Function and Structure

Food Function and Structure

The macronutrients and micronutrients our bodies need

We all eat food because it provides the five fundamental types of materials required to keep our bodies functioning. Learn more about the structure and function of these materials.

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Finding your way around

There are several different ways to discover the site's resources and their related content, along with ideas for grouping them for teaching opportunities:

  • The collections contain groups of related resources about Food Function and Structure.
  • The Connections tool is a visual interactive pathway to discovering the resources and related content for Food Function and Structure.
  • The printable context overview will assist teachers to find pathways through this context and to plan lessons and units of work.

Collections | Connections | Context overview (PDF 78 kB)



    Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds that are found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables. These compounds have been linked to human health by contributing to protection against...

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    Nutrients are substances needed for energy provision and other body functions. Macronutrients are nutrients required in large amounts that provide energy. They are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

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    Plants and vitamin C

    In 2007, Dr Sean Bulley and a team from Plant & Food Research discovered a vital step in vitamin C production in plants. They are now identifying molecular markers to show which plants will bear...

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    Investigating antioxidants

    Many health benefits have been claimed for antioxidant polyphenols in the plant foods we eat. Dr David Stevenson from Plant & Food Research is conducting trials to find out if there are real...

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Phytochemicals – plants’ chemical treasure trove

Dr David Stevenson, a senior scientist with Plant & Food Research, defines the term...


NZ Research

NZ Research collection.
NZ Research collection. This collection provides information about the work of New Zealand’s world-class science and technology sectors in relation to Food...

Science Ideas and Concepts

Science Ideas and Concepts collection.
Science Ideas and Concepts collection. Scientific study requires a basic knowledge and understanding of ideas and concepts. This collection explains the ideas that are...

Looking Closer

Looking Closer collection.
Looking Closer collection.
This collection contains a wide variety of resources and information about Food Function and Structure, which supports the resources in...


People collection.
People collection. This collection introduces some of the people working or studying in the areas explored in Food Function and Structure. Click on a name to...

Teaching and Learning Approaches

Teaching and Learning Approaches collection.
Teaching and Learning Approaches collection. Student activities are the main feature of this collection, along with a variety of resources for teachers to use in exploring Food...


Timeline collection.
Timeline collection. A diet lacking in vitamin C leads to the development of a disease known as scurvy. This timeline traces the history of scurvy, the...

Question Bank

Question Bank collection.
Question Bank collection. An inquiry approach is a method often used in science education. The question bank provides an initial list of questions about Food...

Key Terms

Key Terms collection.
Key Terms collection. This resource provides explanations of the key concepts encountered when exploring Food Function and Structure – the ‘basics’ that...

Sci Media

Sci Media collection.
Sci Media collection. This collection is where you can find all the images, video clips and the interactive that relate to Food Function and Structure.

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