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Questions tagged [chemistry]

Questions about the chemical composition or properties of ingredients and dishes.

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8
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I tell which fruits etc. contain proteases?

After my second attempt at making a ginger mousse with gelatin and finding that it fails, I've discovered that fresh ginger contains a protease. I knew that pineapple does, and that it complicates ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to make hard candy with only fruit as a sweetener

I have a child with a restricted diet that can have no added sugar or other form of sweetener, with the exception of fruit juice. He is in desperate need of cough drops or throat lozenges, but I find ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the meat in Weisswurst get so white?

I have looked for the answer online, but no luck so far. Does the ice "burn" the meat and it gets white? How does it work?
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Dried fruit and calcium levels [closed]

My daughter suffers from lactose intolerance and/or milk protein allergy (this has yet to be confirmed by a paediatrician due to the way the NHS works in the UK). I tend to bake fruit cakes and mix ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Can flavoring extracts be added to inverted sugar?

I'd like to try doing a recipe with inverted sugar (hand pulled cotton candy), but am entirely new to candy making. I have the instructions to create inverted sugar, but would like to add a flavoring (...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How to make Menthol crystal from mint leaves? [duplicate]

I have peppermint/mint growing in my garden backyard. I want to make mint candies for children and in one of the YouTube videos they have menthol crystal as one of the ingredients for mint candies so ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How does sunlight degrade cooking oil?

Why exactly is it recommended to store cooking oil away from sunlight? How does sunlight accelerate spoilage?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I extract menthol powder from fresh mint/peppermint?

I have peppermint/mint growing in my garden backyard. I want to make Ice Cream for children and they are asking for some flavour paan ice cream in Hindi (mint ice cream) and for that I want Menthol ...
5
votes
1answer
953 views

Does cumin contain curcumin? If not, where does the name come from?

According to Wikipedia, curcumin was originally isolated from tumeric. However, I haven't been able to find why it was named curcumin or whether or not it cumin is currently known to contain it.
8
votes
3answers
13k views

What are the grey-black specks that appear when whipping cream in stainless steel bowl?

When we whip cream by hand in a stainless steel bowl, with a metal whisk, small grey specks, ~0.5-1mm in size, appear in the cream. The specks are squishy and can easily be smeared out. See attached ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Can you alter nutritional properties of beans and other ingredients using diastatic malt?

I was reading about brewers' spent grain the other day and its nutritional profile (high protein and fiber content, no carbs) and how it's obtained. Would something similar be possible with beans and ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Differences between gel and gelatine

Are they physically different? If so, what is the difference, between a gel and gelatine, or it's proccesses gelation and gelling (gelatinization. gelatinisation)?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate the pH of a lye solution?

I'm trying to figure out if I can substitute the catholyte from a salt water electrolysis system for a lye solution in pretzel making. In order to figure this out, I need to know the pH of my lye ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the film on top of tea?

The quiet surface of a cup of tea always seems to be covered by a thin, immovable film, even when convection currents are still moving things around inside the liquid at some speed. The surface ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Triple cooked chips: Removing moisture by cooling

Triple cooked chips (French fries) are made by: Boiling the chips, then cooling them in the fridge/freezer to remove moisture Deep frying at a low(ish) temperature, then cooling again as above Deep ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Does mayo “break”/decompose if you stop whisking then whisk the other way?

Is is true or an urban legend that if you whisk the opposite way while making mayonnaise (after you've whisked in one direction for a while), the mixture will be "undone" into its components?
2
votes
1answer
271 views

Can bananas really be ripened through oven baking?

I am following a diet for IBS called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Only bananas that are ripe, i.e. well spotted, can be consumed. Green and non-spotty can not be due to a difference in ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How to sweeten bread without sugar

I know that sugar molecules are large and too many of them can prevent a proper gluten network from forming when making bread. What other things can be used to sweeten bread instead of sugar? I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Why should I add salt to my curries?

I've been advised by a friend of mine that I have to add salt to my curries if I want the spices to come out and not leave me with a bland curry. Now after being a doubter, as I never add salt to my ...
33
votes
7answers
13k views

Can one bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one?

This recent question about a person who wanted to bake a cake but only had a cooked egg left suggested me an even stupider one: is it possible to bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one? ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Does sputtering butter mean that water is present?

When I place a pat of butter in a hot pan, the butter melts and begins to sputter and steam. Then steam bubbles pop which sends tiny grease drops flying out of the pan. This happens consistently ...
-2
votes
1answer
290 views

Can one use cooked egg to make fried eggs (sunny side up)? [duplicate]

As a kid, I never really liked cooked eggs, but fried ones. Naturally, I've always wondered if cooked eggs could be reused to make fried eggs with sunny side up instead of using new raw ones. I ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Create hot “sauce” from capsaicin extract

There are a lot of hot sauces like "Blairs Mega Death" with more than 500.000 scoville heat units. However, they do have some odd taste, which I don't really like. So I'm thinking of creating a sauce ...
14
votes
3answers
63k views

What is the purpose of oil or butter in bread?

Specifically in wheat and potato breads, what is the purpose of adding oil or butter to the dough? I have always assumed it was just for flavor, but I suspect there is some background chemical ...
4
votes
3answers
268 views

Why does my LN2 evaporate so quickly?

Just made my first attempt at cooking using liquid nitrogen. Decided to start easy, and make a 0.5L batch of ice cream, along with some powdered peanut-butter and banana for toppings. Overall I'd ...
6
votes
6answers
19k views

What can I do to prevent the gaseous side effect of sunchokes?

I'd love to eat sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes or topinambour) more frequently, but the side effects (gas, abdominal discomfort) are a bummer. In a home kitchen, how can I prepare the sunchokes ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I calculate the final acidity of homemade vinegar?

I am making vinegar by mixing vinegar (containing the mother) and wine, and then allowing fermentation to occur. I am wondering how to calculate the final % acidity. Assume: I know the initial ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

What turned my garlic purple?

I commonly use a technique when caramelizing onions, in which I add the sliced onions to a pan with salt, oil, and water. The water softens the onions and helps cook them evenly such that by the time ...
15
votes
3answers
22k views

Does chlorine evaporate from water when cooking?

Most municipal water supplies in the U.S. include noticeable levels of chlorine or chloramine added to kill microbes, and often adds an objectionable chemical smell. Does chlorine evaporate when ...
17
votes
3answers
71k views

Coconut Water from White vs Brown Coconuts

The warning label on each coconut describes how to treat the water within each. The water on the brown coconut is to be discarded; the water on the white coconut is safe for consumption. In what ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

preparing lupini beans?

Lupini beans are an ancient and delicious snack food widely consumed around the Mediterranean and elsewhere. But they naturally contain high levels of toxic alkaloids, so they require special ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Coffee foam vs. Tea foam

One sign of really good fresh well-roasted coffee beans is foam. When you pour hot water into the French press, it foams, often forming a head up to 2" high. And when you use an espresso machine, ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

How do I measure the ripeness of my tomatoes?

In my quest for a perfect shakeshouka (eggs in poultry) I figured out I need less acidity in the dish, and have read that acidity in tomatoes varies widely. I have read that very ripe tomatoes have ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Is there a comprehensive overview of food colors?

I found a small list of food additives compiled by the FDA, but it looks rather incomplete and somewhat unspecific. For example, some colors like gold (probably the real thing) or silver (E171 - ...
1
vote
0answers
149 views

Storing Transglutaminase once opened

I have a sealed packet of Transglutaminase/Activa powder. However its much more than I need for this recipe. I know it deactivates quickly after being exposed to air. Whats the best way to store it ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Why do people recommend cream of tartar when whipping egg whites to the exclusion of all other acids?

Virtually every single egg white recipe will say add some cream of tartar to egg whites to help them whip better because the cream of tartar will lower the pH and make it more stable. But if all it's ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do we dimple a focaccia?

When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples ...
0
votes
2answers
322 views

Does cooking vegetables increase their flavor?

Is there some scientific explanation for why one cooks vegetables? I mean apart from increasing the ability to digest. Are there flavor enhancements going on? Does the temperature have to rise about ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Baking soda for soaking chickpeas [duplicate]

This source claims that adding baking soda is crucial when soaking chickpeas. Is this true, and if so, what is the reason that this works?
1
vote
1answer
95 views

How can I find out if yeast or yeast producing are present in foods?

How can I know if a food or ingredient contains yeast or yeast-producing ingredient? My condition requires yeast-free foods and ingredients.
3
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does strata have to come to room temperature before baking?

I've made strata a few times before, usually for brunches where I have a number of guests coming over and don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen. I always follow instructions in the recipe; I ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the difference between a thickener and an emulsifier?

I ask this because I have used a minuscule amount of Xanthan Gum to slightly thicken a chilli sauce I have made. However upon looking at the ingredients of many popular chilli sauces they all tend to ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Aiding the Maillard reaction: Baking Powder or Baking Soda?

I will attempt to cook a Thai Green Chicken Curry. I'll be using cubed boneless chicken thigh which I would like to brown really well. I remember reading somewhere that Baking Powder or Baking Soda ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

Flavour enhancers [closed]

I've read that vanilla is usually used to highlight/enhance the flavour of chocolate, lemon juice the flavour of strawberries, and MSGs the flavour of meat. What other flavour enhancers are out there? ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

Difference between fermentation and leavening?

What is the technical difference between fermentation and leavening? Both cause bread to rise. Does fermentation only refer to the chemical process of one substance converting to another, which ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How to increase the temperature of my double boiler?

I have a double boiler that I wish to use to prepare a batch of fudge. The recipe I am using calls for heating to 240°F (=116°C), but a double boiler is limited to the boiling point of the working ...
3
votes
1answer
707 views

Chemical process behind hardening ice cream

We made a simple ice cream by mixing whipping cream, sugar, and Nutella. After 5-6 hours (surely enough time for the ice cream to cool to the temperature of the freezer), it was soft (mechanically ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Why would parsnips make a beef stock not freeze?

I made a beef stock the way I always do, except that I added parnsips. Then I put the stock in the freezer and when I took it out, the stock was not frozen. It was freezing cold, but instead of having ...
8
votes
2answers
30k views

Why do uncooked frostings that contain milk not need to be refrigerated?

I have seen (and used) recipes for icing and glaze that use uncooked milk in them, yet they do not need to be refrigerated. (For example, one with powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and butter or ...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

When you try to “catch” yeast from the air: is it normal for the flour and water to split

I'm trying to "catch" wild yeast for the first time. 36 hours ago I mixed a cup of flour and a cup of water and left it out on a shelf with a paper towel over the top. It's been between 45 and 70 ...