Posts Tagged ‘Food Science’

The secret behind the sound: Why popcorn ‘pops’

February 11, 2015

Researchers know why popcorn kernels burst open, but they’ve long puzzled over the source of the “pop” sound. When popcorn heats up, the moisture inside turns into steam, building up pressure until the hull splits and fluffy white corn bursts out, often as the kernel sails into the air. The pop, slow-motion videos reveal, happens out of sync with the hull’s rupture and the corn’s launch into the air, eliminating two possible explanations for the noise. That left one remaining cause: The sound comes from the release of water vapor as the kernel opens. Learn more here.

The Chemistry Of Everyday Foods

April 9, 2014

Literally everything around us is made up of chemicals. That includes all foods. And the different kinds of chemicals they contain give the stuff we eat their flavours, colours, and smells. For example:

Chemistry of Chocolate

Chemistry of Lemon

Learn more here or here.

Don’t succumb to “chemophobia”

February 1, 2014

Don’t succumb to “chemophobia”–the fear of harmless if not beneficial chemicals. A lot of the ingredients in completely natural, healthy foods sound frightening. Of course they are not!

All natural banana

See more here.

French Fries on Jupiter

December 31, 2013

What would french fries taste like if you made them on Jupiter?

Hoping that studying deep frying in different gravitational conditions will help them improve space food for future astronauts, scientists chopped potatoes into thin sticks and deep fried them in extra-virgin olive oil, one side at a time, in a spinning centrifuge that created conditions of up to nine times Earth’s gravity. Higher gravity levels significantly increased the heat transfer between the hot oil and the potato, shortening frying time and resulting in thick, crispy crusts.

French fries

In fact, the scientists may have discovered the ideal gravitational condition for creating crunchy fries: The crust reached its maximum thickness when the potato was fried at three times Earth’s gravity; any further increase in gravity levels did not improve the fry’s crispiness. Learn more here.

Eat this

January 22, 2013

Fuelling your body is easy. Just load your plate with foods that are proven to make you stronger and healthier, eat, and repeat. Repeating this spartan meal will help you outperform and ultimately outlive others.

1. Eating whole grains has been associated with lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
2. Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids work to build the brain’s cell membranes, lower blood pressure, and improve circulatory function.
3. Berries are a tasty vitamin-delivery system, providing A, C, and E, along with folate, which is important for cellular metabolism and renewal. Cantaloupe contains potassium, which is crucial in keeping the heart, muscles, nerves, and digestive system working.
4. Vegetables lower blood pressure, slash heart disease risk, and help ward off stroke and cancer.
5. A glass of water before dinner will help you eat less, and drinking enough water overall aids digestion, gets nutrients efficiently to your body’s cells, and protects your organs and tissues.

Learn more here.

Hard Candy Chemistry

November 27, 2011

Richard Hartel, Ph.D., professor of food engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison boils a mixture of sugar, water and corn syrup at temperatures over 150°C (300°F) to produce hard candy. The video demonstrates how the molten liquid candy cools to form what from a technical standpoint actually is a glass. Unlike window glass made of silica, this tasty glass is made of sugar.

Synthetic sausages for dinner?

September 12, 2011

Who needs whole animals when you can grow burgers and sausages from their cells alone, in the lab – and do your bit for the environment too.

First we hunted animals for their meat. Then we developed ways to raise them on farms. Now we are on the verge of the next breakthrough. Within months labs could be growing synthetic meat for the table – and not just the usual steaks and burgers either. Meat from exotic animals could one day widen our culinary choices, for those adventurous enough to try.

Pig cells + horse foetal serum = synthetic sausage. That’s the formula for growing meat in a Petri dish.

The environmental impacts are so much lower too, these synthetic meats would need 99 per cent less land than beef farming. Learn more here or here.

Food up really close

August 3, 2011

Photographer Caren Alpert takes pictures of food. Really, really close-up pictures of food. What you see here are cake sprinkles, shot at a 65x magnification.

See more at her website here.

Why do onions make you cry?

June 18, 2010

Why do you cry when you cut up an onion?

Basically, it happens because when you slice the onion open you also break some of the onion cells. This result in some substances in the onion mixing together – enzymes and sulfur containing compounds to be precise. When these mix a chemical reaction happens which releases a gas (propanethiol S-oxide). This gas reaches your eyes, mixes with the water that keeps them moist and then another chemical reaction occurs. This reaction produces, among other things, a mild sulfuric acid, which irritates the eyes. Your eyes are very sensitive so they produce tears to wash away the nasty acid and protect your eyes. Read more here.

Electrocuted mushrooms grow better

April 13, 2010

Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity accompanied by thunder … and it helps grow mushrooms – seriously!

For generations, Japanese farmers have welcomed storms over their fields based on the belief that lightning strikes provoke plentiful harvests of mushrooms.

As part of a four-year study, scientists in northern Japan have been bombarding a variety of mushrooms in lab-based garden plots with artificially induced lightning to see if electricity actually makes the fungi multiply.

The latest results show that lightning-strength jolts of electricity can more than double the yield of certain mushroom species compared with conventional cultivation methods. Read more here.

WOW !!!