Wednesday, September 13, 2017

5 second rule experiment

The Eureka! Lab at Science for Students did an experiment on the 5 second rule - is food still cleaner if only dropped for 5 seconds rather than longer?

Part 1 sets out the experiment: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/blog/eureka-lab/five-second-rule-designing-experiment

Part 2 describes the experimental setup: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/blog/eureka-lab/five-second-rule-growing-germs-science

and Part 3 calculated the results: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/blog/eureka-lab/five-second-rule-myth-busted

Results?  basically busted - food dropped for 5 seconds collects microbes just like food dropped for 50 seconds. But basically most microbes you pick up are not that harmful anyway.

Clean floors are always better though!!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Refrigerator Organization

Are you like me and stuff everything everywhere (except for those certain items that "have their place")?

Well, Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats has news for you and me - where we store stuff in the fridge (why does fridge have a "d" and refrigerator does not?) will make a difference to the quality and freshness not to mention healthiness of our food.

The Food Lab: How to Organize Your Refrigerator for Better Food Storage
J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT 
http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/07/how-to-organize-refrigerator-efficient-safe-food-storage.html

http://www.seriouseats.com/images/2017/07/seriouseats-fridge-organization-crop.jpg
I think I am going to rethink my cold storage this weekend and upend my status quo!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Drink coffee for your health!

A review of the literature seems to indicate that there is a positive benefit to a few cups of coffee a day - prevents type 2 diabetes, lowers body weight and waist circumference, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease!

Here is the paper (hurray for open access): 
How coffee affects metabolic syndrome and its componentsB. Baspinar,*a  
Food Funct., 2017,8, 2089-2101
http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2017/FO/C7FO00388A

and a cool summary of the findings in this diagram

Time for summer drinks - gin and tonic!!

Here is an excellent explanation as to why gin + tonic does not taste like gin or tonic but something more subtle;
https://www.craftginclub.co.uk/ginnedmagazine/2016/5/31/why-gin-and-tonics-taste-amazing-according-to-science

In contrast, a rum and coke tastes like rum + coke.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Better cooking through science...

I have become addicted to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's Food lab posts on Serious Eats. He breaks down cooking and baking to its elements and tweaks them to create the best versions possible.

 I love the scientific methods in his Yorkshire Pudding post - hypothesize, experiment, conclude.

His latest is on how to fry your stewed beef to create the best Maillard reaction browning with the least amount of dryout.

If you want to be a better cook - READ HIS STUFF!!

There is also a book!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Food-Lab-Cooking-Through/dp/0393081087/ref=zg_bs_14494_1

Follow him on Twitter for his latest posts:
J. Kenji López-Alt ‏@TheFoodLab

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Time-lapse Chemistry and Food!

One of our grad students, Dorea Reeser, convinced C&EN to publish her time-lapse video of  a chemistry experiment:




She calls it "Chem-lapsed" and it is pretty cool. Her first one uses tomato juice and bromine water to create rainbows in a test tube. Watch and learn!

We hope there are many more in the pipeline...