Questions tagged [food-science]

All about the scientific theories behind food. Cooking myths debunked here.

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6
votes
1answer
462 views

Does accidental vinegar have a culture that I can pass along?

Background: A couple of years ago we left a half drunk bottle of Sirah on the counter and it went to vinegar. A really nice vinegar with a pleasant, mild flavor, and we've been using splash here and a ...
6
votes
2answers
265 views

Why is spicy food less spicy when it's allowed to cool?

I've noticed over the years that when my food, which was initially very spicy, has cooled down, it doesn't seem as spicy anymore. Why is that?
6
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2answers
2k views

All else held equal, does a pot of tea have more total caffeine than a mug?

Let's say you have one tea bag and can either brew it in a mug of boiling water, or a larger tea kettle of boiling water. The temperature, steeping time, type of tea bag, etc. are held constant. ...
6
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1answer
5k views

What is the “hot” and “cold” category that Chinese culture separate their food into?

I am unsure if this categorization of food exist only in Chinese culture or if it exists in other (Asian) cultures. In China, a lot of the food is separated into either "cold" or "hot". Some ...
6
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2answers
11k views

How do food producers determine expiration dates on products and ingredients?

It is well known that food expiration dates are somewhat arbitrary. For some foods, they are much more important than others -- for example, you can pretty easily tell on your own if milk has gone bad ...
6
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1answer
18k views

Will potatoes turn brown / gray in oil?

When I was a fry cook we made fresh fries and kept them in a bucket of water to keep them from turning brown (not sure if that's oxidation or what), will oil inhibit the same chemical reaction? I ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Canning Tomatoes: When are they too blemished and why does it matter?

In every canning recipe I have seen, the recipe calls for unblemished tomatoes, but this has never been explained further. The sources of these recipes has been on various internet sites (the kind ...
6
votes
1answer
324 views

What property makes a liquid soapy/bubbly?

Is there a scientific or food industry term for what makes a water solution behave like a detergent, and perhaps an associated unit of measure? For example, the pH of a solution measures its acidity; ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Creating differing temperature fluid gels that stay separate

At the Fat Duck they serve a mug of hot and iced tea. The drink is served in a single cup yet the two different temperature drinks stay separate side by side with no barrier between them. I believe ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Eggs used as Binders

Eggs are commonly used as a binder in meatballs and other foods. If separated, is one part of the egg a stronger binder: Is the white a stronger binder than the yolk? Is the yolk stronger than the ...
6
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3answers
7k views

Commercial Sponge Cake Improver?

Many years ago (35+) my grandmother received a container of a 'sponge cake improver' from a family member whom was a commercial baker. She describes it as looking like a thick amber liquid or paste. ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Detergent Contamination of Processed Foods

Today I bought a Jack Links beef jerky from a vending machine, and when I bit into it I got a distinct taste of something acrid and soapy. As far as I could tell the packaging was not damaged and the ...
6
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1answer
141 views

Why does refined coconut oil make cookies chewy?

I've made this recipe for Chewy Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies and they are indeed chewy and delicious. I never used refined coconut oil before so I did some research. I saw a lot of recipes ...
5
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4answers
1k views

How can I make an Überfood?

Each day, you're supposed to get a certain number of servings of grains, vegetables, fats, etc. You know, the food pyramid. However, instead of going to all the trouble to prepare three meals with ...
5
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3answers
7k views

Is it incorrect when someones says you can lower acidity with sweetness?

It is commonly known that if your food is too acidic, you lower the acidity of the food by adding something sweet. Is this correct? Acidity can me measured by pH. Does the sweet actually raise the ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Simple recipe that when combined in a different order yields different food?

I'm trying to organize a science demo, and one of the lessons I'd like to get across is that information and order matters when ingredients are combined! Mixing together a pile of raw chemical ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What does a fridge do apart from storing and cooling?

There are quite a lot of recipes ending with 'Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours'. I've had this with tiramisu, chocolate mousse, panna cotta to name a few. All of these have ingredients like ...
5
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3answers
448 views

Does glucose used is added to sugar quantity in recipes like ice creams?

I was successful making a new ice cream recipe from Pierre Herme: 100g Milk 135g Cream 1 egg yolk 45g sugar 15g glucose I replaced the glucose by honey. After churning the ice cream, it was smooth ...
5
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8answers
50k views

Why commercial gummies do not melt?

I've noticed that commercial gummies do not melt, even when they are left in the sun, while home made gummies melt even at room temperatures sometimes. What is the secret ingredient? Sugar?
5
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2answers
482 views

Low-calorie French Fries

Update thanks to Max's answer I decided to give baked fries a try. Experimenting with different methods, this is my recipe so far. There are still a few problems with it (read below): Boil fries for ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Is it okay to throw the food, collected in the mesh in the sink, down the drain, if it doesn't contain plastic? [closed]

We know all food is organic (made of carbon). So if we throw organic stuff down the drain, it should get decomposed by bacteria and shrink. So why should we be worried about blockages if all the food ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Stock Based Pizza Dough

Does anyone know what effect, if any, substituting chicken stock for water might have on a pizza dough? I plan on mixing the dough with a stand mixer and then kneading it by hand for around 10 minutes ...
5
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1answer
30k views

Why do egg dye recipes include vinegar?

I have seen recipes for easter egg dyes that call for 1/4 cup vinegar per cup of water and others that call for 2 teaspoons per cup of water. That's a pretty wide range--what practical effect does the ...
5
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2answers
32k views

What makes lye food grade?

I've been looking around for lye to make pretzels and found few solutions for food grade lye. I want to continue using lye in my baking and would like to make my own lye going forward. The process ...
5
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3answers
12k views

Pork shoulder low slow cook time

I am planning to cook a 10lb (4.5kg) bone-in pork shoulder at 250°F (121°C) for about 8 hours. Is there any danger in overcooking if I cook for a few hours longer? I know it needs the time ...
5
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5answers
11k views

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottle of sparkling wine (etc.. .) help keep its fizz?

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottles of bubbles, sparkling wine & Champagne help keep its fizz ? If so why is this ?
5
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2answers
36k views

Effects of elevated storage temperature on bread quality

It's pretty well-known and scientifically established that rather cool temperatures are bad for bread: putting your bread in the refrigerator will tend to dry it out and accelerate chemical reactions ...
5
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5answers
4k views

Why would pumpkin pie form a clear custard layer?

My PA Dutch grandma's pumpkin pie always had a thin layer of custard on the bottom. We have her recipe but none of us has been able to get the filling to separate... Anyone have any idea what might ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why put flour in Oven Bag?

This question is about the plastic "Oven Bags" used to roast various kinds of meat or poultry in. I have some of these made by Reynolds Co., and in the Cooking Guide that came along in the package, it ...
5
votes
2answers
806 views

Why did my coppa get spicier after being microwaved?

I wanted to put some spicy, crispy, crumbled coppa over a pasta dish. I put it in the microwave and it crisped up very well. It was however much spicier after cooking than before. Why did it get ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Why do spring onions curl up when placed in cold water?

Thinly sliced spring onions (aka green onions, scallions, etc.), usually sliced on a bias, curl up when placed in ice water, making them a rather photogenic garnish. Why does this happen? Does this ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

Chinese Chilli Oil for high heat cooking

I recently made Chinese Chilli Oil (with sunflower oil) and loved the flavour it brings into other dishes. I'm thinking of high heat stir frying with this oil. Will high heat burn the chilli flavours ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

In ingredient lists, does “lime” mean the fruit or the chemical?

Ingredient lists on packaged foods sometimes list "lime". Does this refer to the citrus fruit, or to the chemical calcium hydroxide? As an example, Mission Organics White Corn Tortilla Chips list "...
5
votes
3answers
28k views

Why did my soy (Silk) milk suddenly become as viscous as rubber cement?

I used about half of a quart of Silk Milk and returned it to my refrigerator. Two days later the remaining liquid had been replaced with a colloidal mass with a gooey consistency not unlike rubber ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is bearnaise sauce thickened by?

As from the title, what is Bearnaise sauce thickened by? There are a few different ingredients in bearnaise sauce that helps in thickening such as egg yolks, but how is it thickened and what other ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Do older apples contain more or less pectin in the skins/cores?

In order to make apple jelly and not use pectin, just fresh (not frozen) apples skins and cores: Do older, stored apples have more concentrated pectin in their skins and cores or does it degrade? ...
5
votes
1answer
859 views

What can “modified” mean when describing an ingredient?

I have been trying to reverse engineer a packaged glaze mix for fruit pies. It weighs 1oz/28g, and contains "modified tapioca starch, citric acid, salt, artificial flavors and coloring." The mix can't ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is time a factor in Caramelization?

A lot of cooking involves caramelization, and I want to get a better understanding it. Does caramelization happen instantly when each sugar molecule reaches the correct temperature, or does the sugar ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

How much alcohol remains in strawberries soaked in alcohol?

I know that the alcohol content of food that is prepared with alcohol is a tricky study, as evidenced by the fact that food left out overnight stored overnight loses, by one study, 30% of its alcohol ...
5
votes
1answer
880 views

TVP - textured vegetable protein

Can anyone tell me how TVP is produced?
5
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2answers
2k views

Do acid and fat balance each other? How?

I have heard many times that acid is added to a dish to "cut through" the richness, and conversely, that if one adds to much acid, this can be balanced out by the addition of a fat. Do acids and fats ...
5
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1answer
164 views

Soaking salted anchovies & umami

Does soaking salted anchovies in water to reduce the saltiness, also reduce their umami component?
5
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2answers
8k views

Effect of carbonated water on the rising of the dough?

Some recipes suggest to add carbonated water instead of milk or water. Does this practice accelerate the rising of the dough and why?
5
votes
2answers
382 views

term for the fact that's easier to mix 2 things if the amount are different

I am asking this for a friend because we cannot find the answer in google (but did learn a lot about cocaine, dj mixers, bread, concrete and ligers). Seems like there must be a term/principle/...
5
votes
1answer
278 views

Why does horseradish paste “curdle” when cooked?

I once made a tuna marinade that included some imitation wasabi paste. Usually when I cook like this, once the fish is done I cook down the marinade into a thicker sauce. In this case, the sauce ...
5
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1answer
4k views

Why does adding extra flour help with high altitude baking?

When baking at high altitude it seems that most recipes advise to include a little more flour to the mix. Is it related to boiling point?
5
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1answer
2k views

Why does canelé batter have to be made 24 hours in advance?

I am experimenting with making canelé. All recipes I've found call for the batter to be made and left in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before baking, but none say why. One guess is that ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the purpose of baking a cooked pot pie filling?

I will be making chicken pot pie for about 350 people at a conference, but I'm making the filling separate from the biscuit topping. The plan is to serve the pot pie in a disposable container, ...
5
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1answer
85 views

How are powdered emulsifiers (such as monoglycerides) prepared for use in cooking and baking?

Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler. Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, ...
5
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1answer
108 views

Improving texture of yogurt based ice cream- stabiliser?

I've made a test on a recipe for coconut-yogurt ice cream, and I need some thoughts on improving the texture. It was churned using an industrial ice-cream maker. It is based on a recipe I found ...

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