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 Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>