Computer rendering of a protein showing the secondary structure consisting of alpha helix and beta sheets. Tertiary and Quaternary structure is also shown.

Biochemistry

Computer rendering of a protein showing the secondary structure consisting of alpha helix and beta sheets. Tertiary and Quaternary structure is also shown.

Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the foundation for all biology concepts. Basic elements combine into the macromolecules that make life processes possible. This guide breaks down the important information students need to know, provides links to products and free digital resources, and includes suggestions for hands-on labs that reinforce student learning. We’ve gathered a variety of products and resources to help you teach this concept. They include:

The major areas covered in this topic:

Macromolecules

Macromolecules are the building blocks for more complex biochemicals. A basic understanding of their structure and function is essential for understanding how life exists and is maintained.

Conduct testing of sugars, starches, and proteins with Benedict's solution, IKI, and biuret solution.
251023 Inquiries in Science®: Synthesizing Macromolecules Kit

Students investigate macromolecules through a series of activities. First, students model the formation of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. Next, students perform tests for monosaccharides, starches, and proteins. Finally, students design and carry out an experiment to measure how environmental factors influence enzyme activity.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Bananas at varying stages of ripening.
841152 Carolina ChemKits®: Introduction to Biochemistry

Introduce students to the chemical processes within living organisms and perform some of the most common biochemical tests to identify those macromolecules. Students first perform qualitative tests to confirm the presence of starches, sugars, proteins, and lipids in both standard and sample solutions. They use their observations of these tests on the sample solutions of bananas at various stages of ripening and of diastase malt to then perform their own biochemical reaction and test the results.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Enzymes

Enzymes are highly specialized proteins that control the rates of reactions in organisms. They control the rate of metabolism by controlling the rates of lactose and glucose breakdown, for example. Understanding the role of enzymes shines a light on how organisms develop, grow, and maintain life functions.

Test tube containing meat and pepsin to investigate the process of digestion.
841172 Carolina ChemKits®: Introduction to Enzymes

 Explore the biochemical function of enzymes with this 4-experiment kit. Students study pepsin, invertase, and amylase to understand their effects on the reactions they catalyze. Kit activities can be completed in 4 lab periods. 

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Students create a column with immobilized lactase beads to create lactose-free milk.
211337 DNALC Making Lactose-Free Milk Kit

Many students are aware of lactose intolerance, but how many actually understand what it means and how it relates to human evolution? Help your students make that connection with this exclusive kit from Carolina and the DNA Learning Center. Students review the relationship between genes and proteins, learn about enzyme functionality, and explore the relationship between lactase and human evolution. In the core activity, students create a column with immobilized lactase enzyme beads to create lactose-free milk. 

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

materials needed to conduct the exploring enzymes and evolution.
202270 Exploring Enzymes and Evolution Through Lactose Intolerance Kit

This lab integrates topics including evolution, single nucleotide polymorphisms, geography, physiology, and the use of controls. Students test baby formula, milk, and other controls in the presence and absence of lactase, and measure the activity of the enzyme by using glucose test strips.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

The process of cheese making.
202306 Carolina BioKits®: Enzymes and the Science of Cheesemaking

Give your students hands-on experience in the biology and chemistry of cheesemaking. Using the kit, they learn about the connection between enzymes, pH, and microbes and study their role in the cheesemaking process. Students then explore the use of microbial rennet to coagulate milk, and design and perform an experiment to study the conditions affecting coagulation.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Varying amounts of pectinase are used to release juice from applesauce.
202316 Carolina BioKits®: Exploring with Pectinase: An Introduction to Enzymes

Introduce your students to enzymes and how temperature and concentration affect an enzyme’s ability to convert reactants into products. In this activity, students add increasing amounts of the enzyme pectinase to applesauce and observe how much juice is released at various temperatures.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Food Nutrients

Food nutrient analysis is a method for testing the components of a food sample. For an organism to thrive it must have the appropriate amount of all necessary types of nutrients. One way to determine this information is to perform chemical tests on a food sample to determine the composition of that food.

One of several tests performed on food in this kit.
202500 Food Nutrient Analysis Kit

Students perform qualitative tests for sugar, starch, lipid, protein, and vitamin C on standards and control samples. They then use these tests as evidence to support their identification of 2 unknown substances. Instructional material describes the function of these nutrients in the body, their importance, and how the qualitative tests work.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Kit materials for the Introduction to Properties of Lipids kit
841131 Carolina ChemKits®: Introduction to Properties of Lipids Kit

Lipids are organic compounds that provide the most efficient source of energy to living organisms. In the 1st part of the kit, students observe the interesting properties of lipids, including the famous grease spot test, solubility, Sudan stain test, soap synthesis, and emulsification. In the 2nd part, students digest lipids chemically and determine the necessary components for lipid digestion in the body.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Biochemistry Products

Choose from a variety of high-quality models to fit your needs. Check out our selection of prokaryotic, eukaryotic, plant, and animal models here.

Additional Biochemistry Support

We have free resources to help you teach this concept, including:

  • Free Activities and Infographics
  • How-to Videos
  • Helpful Buying Guides

Free Biochemistry Resources

Carolina Essentials™ are free, hands-on, NGSS-based activities. These activities are designed to make implementing 3-D learning easy. Students make sense of phenomena while learning concepts essential for understanding ecosystem processes. You can browse all of these Carolina Essentials or try one of these:

Use these free resources to supplement your instruction about biochemistry.

egg enzymes

Eggsploring Enzymes Activity

Enzymes are specialized biological catalysts that complete biological work within cells. In this activity, students investigate the effect of pepsin, a protease, on albumin, […]

lactose intolerance

The Science Behind Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance At birth, nearly all human beings, as well as most mammals, are able to digest lactose, a disaccharide present in their mothers’ […]

Green mung beans

Need for Speed

Imagine a world without enzymes. Bread wouldn’t rise. Seeds wouldn’t sprout. Your tasty lunch wouldn’t digest; it would sit in your stomach for weeks […]

juice is fermented by yeast in jars

Fermentation by Yeast

A study of fermentation by yeast is an interesting extension of AP* Biology Lab 5 Cell Respiration. It also offers possible tie-ins to Lab […]

cheese making

Cheese Making

An Interdisciplinary Science Exploration Evidence suggests that people have been making cheese for at least several thousand years. In the 1970s, an archeologist named […]

Biochemistry Support Videos

Do your students need to brush up on their microscopy and slide preparation skills? These videos can help.

Buying Guides

Choosing the appropriate equipment for your labs can be a challenging task. Our buying guides are designed to make your decisions easy.

For More Guidance

These are our top picks. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, we’ll be happy to help you find the right activities and kits to simplify your planning and implementation. If you have questions, please contact us at product@carolina.com.

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