The Science of Delicious

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Solutions, solvents, gases, nutrition, calories and taste – welcome to Week Five of the Chemistry and Cooking Quest and the Science of Delicious.

After spending all week in research and hands on experiments, Eagles divided into teams, researching roles and compensation as scientists in the food testing companies Microbac, Certified Laboratories, Vanguard Sciences and Biorad (note – some of these do NOT have good reviews from their employees!)

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Teams competed to present the most compelling data in a series of food tests including the sweetness of sodas; low fat versus regular cookies; the impact of smell on taste; bread, enzymes and taste and the complex versus simple flavors in wine (OK, we really used Tang and orange juice.)

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Next Eagles dyed and mapped taste buds location from experimental data alone – no use of the internet on this one!

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Then each team created a recipe for ketchup, one of the few foods that features sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami.

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Eagles also embraced an open ended challenge:

Using only water, a measuring cup, a thermometer and a microwave, estimate how many people would need to eat how much of what foods to generate enough power for a  microwave.  (Warning – it’s a lot more complicated question than it seems.)

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We ended with an egg toss, cupcakes and a french fry taste test for ketchup recipes.  What do these last tasks have to do with science?  Not much, but definitely delicious!

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