We were invited by Chef JB’s high school alma mater, Philippine Science High School, to conduct a session on Food Science last week. Chef JB had done a similar session in “Pisay” back in 2008 and so we were excited to return, and share a bit of knowledge with a new set of students.

We learned that in the years following our 2008 session, PSHS had developed its own Food Science program, offered as an elective to 3rd year students, so we wanted to make sure we’d show them something new. We set up our kitchen in one of the chemistry labs. Chef JB started us off with a short introduction to Molecular Gastronomy as a field of study. The day’s session wasn’t going to be on Molecular Gastronomy though; the definition of the term is much too fraught with heated debate. We wanted the students to just have fun and to get them to think about food in a different way: food is a marvel for the senses, but is also a wonderland of really cool chemical and biological reactions and interactions!

Roasted Garlic Spread with Caraway Seed
The application of heat denatures the enzyme alliinase, deactivating the garlic’s pungency. At the same time, the heat causes the caramelization of stored fructose. The resulting garlic paste is awesome on its own, spread on bread. Mix it with parmesan cheese, olive oil & caraway seed and it is epic!

Mirror Molecules
Lemons and oranges get their smells from a molecule called limonene. They smell similar, but not quite the same, because they have different versions of limonene. In fact, on the molecular level, the two versions are exact mirror images of each other! Mint leaves and caraway seed also hold some surprises!

Carbonated Citrus Drinks
Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide. This ice doesn’t melt, but instead sublimates straight to the gaseous phase. Pretty handy, when you want a cold drink in a flash (carbon dioxide solidifies at -78.5 °C). Also great for making your own carbonated drink. Awesome special effects too!

Fruit Fireballs
Citrus peels also make great special effects! Oils in citrus skin protect the fruit from insect attacks and mold growth. Pretty cool when sprayed onto a candle flame too!

Popcorn
Temperatures in excess of 180 °C (356 °F), and internal pressures in excess of 135 psi. Steam turns the starch to gel, and when the hull is breached, the gel instantly turns into a crisp foam. Ever think about how awesome popcorn is? Yummy too!

Fizzy Candy & Cinder Toffee
All sorts of fun things happen when you heat sugar beyond 150°C (302°F). It’s even more fun when you add acid-base reactions to the mix!

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Need we say more? Ice cream is awesome. Liquid nitrogen ice cream is epic! Educational too. But mostly epic.

Liquid Nitrogen Fondue, anyone?
Liquid nitrogen boils at -196 °C (-321 °F). Dip wooden skewers to dip chocolate-covered marshmallow treats into it and you get some pretty darn cool treats.

Learning and snacking all the way, that’s how we rolled that day. Thanks to Philippine Science High School for inviting us!

FOOD SCIENCE
Philippine Science High School Science Fair 2012:
15th Youth Math, Science, and Technology (YMSAT) Festival

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Ms. Stephanie Santos

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We were invited by Chef JB's high school alma mater, Philippine Science High School, to conduct a session on Food…

Posted by Cakes by The Regali Kitchen on miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2012