Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What did the scientist say to the sommelier? 'Show me the proof!'

23.04.2012
In special course, students are asked to do what would be unthinkable in a traditional science course: eat the results of their experiments

What does lemon pan sauce chicken have to do with biochemistry and molecular biology? If you ask the students in Joseph Provost's class at Minnesota State University Moorhead, they'll tell you that successful execution of the dish requires the Maillard reaction, a chemical process that's responsible for the flavors and colors in a variety of food, including toast and maple syrup.

In Provost's class, students are asked to do what would be unthinkable in a traditional science course: eat the results of their experiments.

"There are a few universities that teach this class, but I wanted to use the theme to bring science to a wider audience," Provost explains. "There is a ton of interesting biochemistry, chemistry, biology and physics involved with cooking, and all of it can be brought to this topic." Each section of his course is about food -- and explained with all of the interesting science involved. Provost says, "That is different than many courses, where the application is at the end of the chapter."

On Sunday, April 22, Provost will share with other educator-scientists his recipe for making science accessible to liberal arts students with the hope that they, too, will cook up innovative teaching techniques. His presentation will be part of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego.

Begun in the fall of 2010, Provost's Science of Cooking class draws about 150 students each semester and requires 12 hours of lab experience, which can be acquired in either the lecture hall or in students' homes. Together with a team of faculty, he hopes to create a textbook that can be used for non-science majors throughout the United States.

One (in-class) experiment covers freezing point depression through ice-cream making. "Students work in groups using various salt solutions to measure freezing point depressions, create secondary plots to determine trends and analyze the impact of salt and sucrose on making ice cream," Provost says. Later the students use a scientific approach to how biological molecules impact the taste of ice cream. He also uses convection, microwave and induction cooking teach the physics behind heat transfer.

Dishes such as cheese soufflé are used to examine protein denaturation and gas laws. Meanwhile, marinating shrimp is used as a launching point for discussions of acid denaturation of meats and how free amino acids affect taste.

"There are a lot of ways to get people interested in science. I think this a great way to show how biochemistry can daily impact their life," Provost says. "It also makes them a much better cook!"

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The society's student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org.

About Experimental Biology 2012

Experimental Biology is an annual gathering of six scientific societies that this year is expected to draw 14,000-plus independent scientists and exhibitors. The American Association of Anatomists (AAA) is a co-sponsor of the meeting, along with the American Physiological Society (APS), American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

More information about EB2012 for the media can be found on the press page: http://experimentalbiology.org/EB/pages/Press-Registration.aspx.

Angela Hopp | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asbmb.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>