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WIN2204 Wine Biochemistry

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Robert Learmonth
Moderator: Ursula Kennedy


Pre-requisite: BIO1101 and CHE2120 and WIN2102


This course provides an introduction to the major classes of biochemical compounds, their structures, chemistry and metabolism, and major metabolic processes including respiration and photosynthesis. The course also addresses biochemical reactions and additives during wine production and storage, to complement courses in wine production.


Biochemistry may be considered as the description of life at the molecular level. The chemical and physical nature of structures and functions within living cells is studied. This course allows students to develop an understanding of the major classes of biochemical compounds found in living organisms and the metabolism of these compounds. It discusses the structures and chemistry of biomolecules, bioenergetics of metabolic reactions and central metabolic processes including metabolism of carbohydrates, respiration and photosynthesis. This is extended to consider the biochemistry of important enzyme-catalysed reactions during production and storage of wine. Impacts of enzymes from the grapes, the microbes used to ferment wine, and used as winemaking additives are discussed. The course also considers biochemical and spectroscopic analysis of wine.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge of the major classes of biochemical compounds, including carbohydrates, lipids and proteins;
  2. describe the action of enzymes and their applications metabolism;
  3. demonstrate an awareness of the core metabolic processes which occur in most organisms (including grape vines and winemaking micro-organisms);
  4. demonstrate familiarity with the integration of metabolic pathways in an organism;
  5. describe the roles of enzymes in winemaking, the sources of these enzymes, their activities and impacts on wine production and quality;
  6. describe and identify biochemical components that impact on wine production and quality;


Description Weighting(%)
1. Biological Macromolecules: structure and chemistry, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins. 20.00
2. Enzymes: structure, mechanisms of action. enzyme kinetics, allosteric enzymes. 10.00
3. Bioenergetics: energetics of reactions, ATP and other high energy compounds, energy content of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins. 10.00
4. Metabolic regulation, central metabolic pathways of carbohydrate metabolism: glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, carbohydrate storage (synthesis and degradation of glycogen and starch) 10.00
5. Respiratory metabolism: citric acid cycle, electron transport chain, oxidative phosphorylation. 10.00
6. Photosynthesis: light reactions, Calvin cycle. 10.00
7. Biochemistry of metabolism of winemaking yeast and bacteria that leads to production and modification of wine sensory components. 10.00
8. Biochemistry of added winemaking enzymes and microbial enzymes 10.00
9. Biochemical analyses of grapes and wine; enzyme assays and spectroscopic analyses 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Nelson, DL & Cox, MM 2008, Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 5th edn, WH Freeman, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Berg, JM, Tymoczko, JL & Stryer, L 2007, Biochemistry, 6th edn, WH Freeman, New York.
  • Boulton, RB, Singleton, VL, Bisson, LF & Kunkee, RW 1999, Principles and practices of winemaking, Aspen Publishing, Gaithersburg.
    (ISBN 0 8342 1270 6.)
  • Ebeler, SE, Takeoka, GR & Winterhalter, P 2007, Authentication of Food and Wine, Oxford University Press.
    (ISBN-10: 0841239657, ISBN-13: 978-0841239654.)
  • Farkas , B 1988, Technology and Biochemistry of Wine, CRC Press.
    (ISBN-10: 2881240704, ISBN-13: 978-2881240706.)
  • Margalit , Y 2004, Concepts in Wine Chemistry, 2nd edn, Wine Appreciation Guild.
    (ISBN-10: 1891267744, ISBN-13: 978-1891267741.)
  • Mathews, CK, Van Holde, KE & Ahern, KG 2000, Biochemistry, 3rd edn, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, California.
  • Osgood, M & Ocorr, K 2008, The absolute, ultimate guide of lehninger principles of biochemistry - study guide & solutions manual, 5th edn, WH Freeman, New York.
  • Rankine, BC 2004, Making good wine: A manual of winemaking practice for Australia and New Zealand, MacMillan, Sydney.
  • Voet, D, Voet, JG & Pratt, CW 2006, Fundamentals of biochemistry, 2nd edn, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
  • Zoecklein, BW, Fugelsang, KC, Gump, BH & Nury, FS 1999, Wine analysis and production, Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.
    (ISBN 0 412 98921 2.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 20 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 20 20 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 60 60 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner will advise due dates of Assignment 1.
  2. Examiner will advise due dates of Assignment 2.
  3. The date of the exam will be during the examination period and will become available during the semester. Please check the exam timetable once published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.
    Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination.
    Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will
    be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate?s possession until appropriate
    disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an
    unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested by the Examiner, students will be required to provide a copy of the assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being received. The examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //