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Kitchen Chemistry [With CDROM]


All food is, of course, made of chemicals, and cooking can be thought of as a series of chemical reactions in which changes occur to some of these chemicals. The aims of cooking are several:

??? to kill microorganisms and denature enzymes that might bring about undesirable changes in food
??? to maintain or enhance the nutritional value of the food
??? to improve the texture of the food
??? to improve the appearance of the food
??? to improve the flavour of the food
??? to improve the aroma of the food.

The material presented here looks at various aspects of the chemistry of food and the cooking process. It consists of activities of a variety of types ??? class practical, demonstration experiments, reading comprehension and paper-based activities ??? at a variety of levels. The index table will allow users to select an activity of an appropriate topic, type and level. Each activity deals with an aspect of the chemistry of food and/or cooking. Although the chemistry of food and cooking is not directly part of most curricula, it can often be used to show familiar chemistry in a context that may be stimulating for many students. The material also allows teachers to reinforce the idea that everything is made of chemicals and that there is no difference between ???man-made??? and ???natural??? chemicals. In particular there are a number of activities on which experimental investigations can be based. Some of the paper-based or comprehension activities could be used as revision lessons or in the case of teacher absence.

Thematerial is presented as teacher??'s notes and student worksheets. The worksheets are available on the CDROM accompanying this book or may be downloaded free from the website for this book as colour or black and white pdf files, or as Microsoft?? Office Word documents (which can be edited by the teacher if required). Also included on the CDROM and website are video clips related to some of the material. These may be played to start off a lesson or stimulate discussion. However, all the lessons can be tackled without the use of the video clips for those who prefer not to use them. In every case, material is given that the teacher can use to start the lesson by discussion.

The video clips are taken from the Discovery Channel TV series, Kitchen Chemistry, featuring Heston Blumenthal. Heston is a chef and proprietor of The Fat Duck, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, UK. He is noted for his scientific approach to food and cooking and for the fact that he will not take for granted the accepted wisdom without scientifically investigating it for himself. He also makes use of scientific equipment in the kitchens of the Fat Duck ??? temperature probes, desiccators and reflux apparatus, for example.

Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction by Heston Blumenthal; How to use this material; The use of salt in cooking; The use of salt in cooking 2; By how much does salt increase the boiling point of water?; Is all salt the same?; "Low sodium" salt substitutes; What affects the colour and texture of cooked vegetables; Should beans be cooked with the lid on or off?; The chemistry of baking powder; The structure of ice and water; Why do pans stick?; Enzymes and jellies; The chemistry of flavour; Chemical changes during cooking; The science of ice cream; 'Asparagus pee'; How hot are chilli peppers?


Synopsis: The chemistry of food and cooking is just one example of the many roles chemistry plays in our everyday lives. This topic provides an exciting context for some familiar chemistry and a way to engage students with the subject. Kitchen Chemistry contains a wide variety of activities, from class practicals and demonstrations to reading comprehension and paper-based exercises. Each activity deals with an aspect of the chemistry of food and/or cooking. The material is suitable for a wide range of ages, from primary to post-16, and helps reinforce the idea that everything is made of chemicals and that there is no difference between 'man-made' and 'natural' chemicals. * Chemical Information Sources Discussion List, 06 November 2007 (Dana L Roth) * "Useful resource for school teachers, undergraduate chemistry lecturers and food enthusiasts." * International Food Information Service, 2007-01-Ac0263 *

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