Studying biochemistry at Majorana: The key for the success

I am very proud of being a student of “E. Majorana”! Why can I say that? The answer is very simple…

Most of people believe that culture mostly derives from hours and hours of studying on big full-page textbooks. Yet, it is not exactly this way. To understand better the objects of the daily lessons, the applied aspect of a subject should not be overlooked. Following this idea our school always gives its students the chance to put into practise all the information they can learn in class in order to deepen and enhance their knowledge even through a combined study of subjects whose topics can be linked each other.

As the term Biochemistry says our studies are mostly focused on topics that can helps us to learn biochemical processes that take to the production of specific molecules and whose application is related to biomedical engineering and food technology. As a result, our school has offered its students the chance to visit the historic brewery of Birrificio Messina, in order to  strengthen the knowledge we have matured during lessons through the combination of the main subjects of our course which are Organic Chemistry, Microbiology and, obviously, English.

But first, what does the process to make that golden drink we enjoy almost every day consists of? Its typical colour and its characteristic taste and effervescence are the result of a complex fermentation process involving little and tiny organisms called yeasts. Their task is to convert sugars present in a sweet wort, which is made from malt, water and essences, into alcohol and carbon dioxide, by giving beerits typical texture and flavour.

According to the kind of treatments, the alcoholic and sugar content and other parameters such as water pH, the duration of the fermentation or the presence of other grains (corn or rice), beers can have certain features. Obviously, these last may vary depending on the country in which beer is produced and even on the type of raw materials used.

And now let’s get straight into the trip… The visit started with the mechanic part of the implant’s structure. We were brought to the engine room to look at the different kinds of machines which are used in every step of the production while we were given a very detailed description of the functions and the related processes made from each of them.

Afterwards our trip went on by visiting the chemistry and physical laboratory where it was possible for us to see the devices used to make microbial analysis of the final products. We saw instruments used to measure the alcoholic content, ph and the effervescence of beer, test tubes, beakers, flasks, balance and even microscopes to control total bacterial charge inside the product.

It was amazing to notice that everything we have learnt at school on our books or even some of the instruments we usually use at school during our lab lessons werethe same we have been finding in an implant like this! This interesting trip let us see the topic of our lessons under a completely different point of view bymaking it easier to learn and memorize as well as giving us the possibility to acquire extra information. In addition to clear our ideas about a specific topic, this experience let us see how the world of work goes on, what are the abilities needed to carry out a specific task on the workplace and what could be a possible future job for each of us after graduation.

ARIANNA TORRE E DEBORA DELLA CANDELORA V C BS

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