How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Science & Cooking: Harvard profs meet world-class chefs in unique online course


When I saw this course – one that could potentially help Food Scientists understand the science of soft matter – I thought that it should be shared.
Openculture – the best free cultural and educational media on the web – found this course in Harvard, Science and sold it to me with the following summary:

“Put Harvard researchers and world-class chefs together and what do you get? An unexpected combination and a course called Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter. During the past several decades, researchers have pushed the boundaries of soft matter science, a scientific field that looks at how thermal stresses and thermal fluctuations change the physical properties of everyday materials. Naturally this all applies to food and cooking. Hence the premise of the course, which uses cooking to explain fundamental principles in applied physics and engineering.”

This public lecture series discusses concepts from the physical sciences that underpin both everyday cooking and haute cuisine. 

Each lecture features a world-class chef who visited and presented their remarkable culinary designs: Ferran Adrià presented spherification; José Andrés discussed both the basic components of food and gelation; Joan Roca demonstrated sous vide; Enric Rovira showed his chocolate delicacies; Wylie Dufresne presented inventions with transglutaminase. 

The lectures then use these culinary creations as inspiration to delve into understanding how and why cooking techniques and recipes work, focusing on the physical transformations of foods and material properties.
The entire series can be viewed on YouTube and consists of 39 videos with a total duration of 64 hours. With video titles such as ‘The many faces of chocolate’ and ‘Bakistry: the science of sweets’, even if you’re not a Food Scientist or Chef, you’ll find it a very interesting and engaging introduction to the science of food.

If you’re looking to measure the physical properties of everyday materials using a Texture Analyser – then look no further:
 
Watch our video about texture analysis  Replicating Consumer Preferences
 Texture Analysis applications


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