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With precise devices like sous vide, which have sensors like thermometers that you can download readings from, I am curious if people have started collecting 'cooking profiles' much like coffee roasters do when they measure temperature, moisture, etc while roasting beans?

An example profile, showing environment and bean temperature versus time:

roast profile see also: some forum discussion of profiles, and a video of someone using one

These are used in coffee roasting to help produce the best roast you can. Different beans usually have different profiles and even different roasting equipment. The profiles can be used to experiment with different settings like temperature and air flow. They can even be used to control those settings.

I'm curious if people are experimenting in this way with other foods? For example I could imagine eggs being very interesting with their three different layers.

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  • This is a great question. Personally I am a chef and a computer programmer, so this is an awesome find. We have the technology why not do this with all of our foods. We are only delaying the inevitable. – Chef_Code Apr 23 '15 at 6:05
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I found this question particularly challenging to provide a complete and concrete answer to your question. Although through strenuous research I was finally able to locate a text book that describes all sorts of new-age food processes and systems used in measuring such methods such as 'roasting profiles' which is also included in this text book, although most methods appear to be utilized in a scientific setting with expensive equipment.

The text book is also rather expensive, although looks very interesting, its called: Emerging Technologies for Food Processing the website provided allows you to purchase individual chapters of the book in PDF form.

The text book is edited by: Da-Wen Sun. who is the Professor of Food and Bio-systems Engineering (Personal Chair), at the National University of Ireland - Dublin (University College Dublin) also the Director, Food Refrigeration & Computerised Food Technology (FRCFT), National University of Ireland - Dublin

I hope this is helpful

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    Thanks Chef_Code. Emerging Technologies for Food Process looks fascinating if incredibly deep. It might be a step beyond where I am. I'm a coder like you and have started to wonder how all the precision cooking devices that are coming out may evolve to allow profiles and how chefs might share them. It feels like the start of a potential ecosystem. Raises interesting questions of integration, apis and potentially standards. – Rolf Apr 24 '15 at 15:29
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On eggs, in particular, that kind of research has been done relatively recently, which ChefSteps converted into a calculator.

I'm sure this type of research has been done in service of frozen food production and other processed food as well, though perhaps not with the kind of output that's necessarily useful to a home cook.

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  • The calculator claims that if you cook an egg at 60C for 7 hours 42 minutes the white will be completely runny and the yolk will be firm - is that for real? – Cascabel Apr 24 '15 at 5:03
  • Maybe Michael is a better person to ask; I think he or his colleage worked on converting the research into the calculator. Sometimes software has bugs, but sometimes research uncovers surprises... I wouldn't be able to guess which is correct. cooking.stackexchange.com/users/1393/michael-at-herbivoracious – JasonTrue Apr 24 '15 at 5:09
  • Appreciate the egg calculator pointer Jason. Great information and led to a long conversation in an interview today. – Rolf Apr 24 '15 at 20:13
  • I didn't see this comment before, but that is correct, I did work on the ChefSteps egg calculator along with Douglas Baldwin, Chris Young, Tim Salazar and other folks. I'm not positive we've tested the most extreme combinations, like 60 C for 7:42; the calculator uses a pretty fancy simulation model that tends to work quite well in most situations. If you try it, i'd love to hear your results. – Michael Natkin May 14 '16 at 20:05

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