By Erich Lück; Martin Jager. Transl. from the German by S. F. Laichena

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Epithelial cells (those cells present in the lining of body cavities and in the skin and glands) also require vitamin A. Deficiency in vitamin A may cause impairment in bone formation, impairment of night vision, malfunction of epithelial tissues, and defects in the enamel of the teeth. Vitamin A previously was expressed in international units (lU). Because of the different biological activities of vitamin A sources such as beta-carotene, other carotenes, and preformed vitamin A (retinol), vitamin A is now expressed in terms of retinol equivalents (RE).

Structure Protein structures are quite different than those of other food constituents. Molecular weight, amino acid composition, and sequence along the polypeptide chain constitute the "primary structure" ofthe molecule. The spatial arrangement ofthe various atoms and groups in a molecule is responsible for a number of other structures which make up the "conformation" of the molecule including secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures. The secondary structure is in the shape of a coiled helix.

The pleated sheet structure is a result ofhydrogen bonds between each C=O and NH of different chains running side by side (Fig. 3). This is a secondary structure and is common in the fibrous pro teins such as keratin and collagen. Denaturation As mentioned earlier, the conformation or the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures can be quite fragile and may be altered by a number of factors that may be utilized in food processing. This change in molecular structure without breaking covalent bonds or altering amino acid sequence is referred to as denaturation.

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