Kitchen Chemistry and Food Physics
What's really in that cheeseburger? Foods are complex and heterogeneous mixtures of bio-molecules (starch, fat, protein, vitamins, colors, flavors, etc.) that provide nutrition and, of course, are tasty to eat. The quality of foods is related to many factors: safety, physical properties (texture), chemical and physical effects of processing and cooking, stability, sensory appeal, and more. This course will investigate how fundamental concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics are used to describe, explain, and manipulate the properties and ensure the high quality of foods. In the seminar, we will prepare some foods, play with some food ingredients, watch videos, discuss issues related to genetic engineering, and go behind the scenes in a commercial kitchen, all the while analyzing specific topics and foods of interest to students in the class. The course will culminate in a group project where students analyze a food of their choice and present their findings to the class.