Today I read an article from The Washington Post. It discusses how the rise of processed food that we put into our bodies has coincided with an alarming growth in the size of our collective gut. In addition, the George Washington University has done a research that links fast-food consumption to the presence of harmful chemicals. The research states that people who eat fast-food often have higher levels of phthalates. This would eventually lead to increased rates of infertility, especially among males.
As a bartender I can tell you that presentation is half of the battle…No one wants to eat or drink something that looks terrible. Sometimes in fancy cocktails we use an egg white powder to make a pretty froth on our cocktails!!
This article answers 17 questions about food that most people didn’t know or didn’t even think to know. The answers for the questions are chemically inspired, covering topics from capsaicin in spicy foods to globular proteins in eggs that allow them to physically change when heated. I find it really interesting that so many questions about food can be answered on a chemical level. Most of the questions refer to household knowledge that is indisputable, but the answers are not something that a lot of people would know. It is an interesting article and includes lots of topics we have discussed in class.
Question: What other question/answer about food (involving chemistry) do you know?
During baking, the starch in dough melts. The molecules become less organized and allow water molecules to move near them, some are partially dissolved. As the bread cools, the starch recrystallizes or retrogrades and goes back to a solid form, which causes a firm texture. Starch retrogradation is desirable for some starchy food products in terms of textural and nutritional properties.
Why has starch retrogradation been the subject of intensive research over the last 50 years?
You can learn more about starch retrogradation here.
According to a recent study by The Harris Poll, pizza is the number one food Americans eat when they are stressed. The study cites both psychology and chemistry as the causes for this popular comfort food. Since pizza is a staple meal in most children’s diets it reminds us of our youth and caregivers and thus can help soothe our mind. Similarly, the combination of the acid in the tomato sauce, the mozzarella, and the crisp crust creates a great balance which the American Chemical Society calls “highly palatable” and the “food of the gods.” What is your favorite stress food? Are you like 67% of American and go to pizza?
Testing different emulsifiers to make vinaigrette. From left to right we have: (1) no emulsifier (negative control), (2) soy lecithin, (3) soy lecithin, (4) egg yolk and (5) honey. Which emulsifier works the best?