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Food Science in History

Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier (1743-1794) French chemist.

Recognised the importance of utilizing scientific methods to
understand food. Studied the process of stock preparation in 1783

Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814) AngloAmerican physicist. His work included extensive investigations of the
construction of fire places and kitchen utensils, Believed in improving
the work of chefs by improving their tools in the kitchen using a
scientific understanding

Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin (1755-1826) French lawyer with a

background and a great interest in chemistry and medicine. Brillat
Savarin is the author of The physiology of taste from 1825, a classic
book in gastronomy. The book takes a scientific and philosophical
look at food and is concerned with good food and health issues

Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) German chemist. He started a

production of commercial beef extract, which was to become the
precursor of the bouillon cube

Edouard de Pomaine (1875-1964) French scientist and food writer.

He explained the scientific principles of several traditional preparation
techniques in order to demystify cooking . He argues that cooking can
be considered a scientific technique

Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998). Hungarian physicist at Oxford

University specialising in low-temperature physics A key person in
exploring the gap between food science and cooking and defining a
new sub-field of food science aiming at the restaurant and domestic

In 1969 Nicholas Kurti gave a lecture with the title The physicist in
the kitchen

In the 1980s Herv This, a French chemist, investigated culinary

proverbs in his lab in Paris.

Harold McGee, an American food writer with a degree in science and

literature, In 1984 the first edition of On Food and Cooking

In 1986 Herv This and Nicholas Kurti collaborate on their cooking


In 1992 Kurti, This and McGee organized International Workshop of

Molecular and Physical Gastronomy

Definition of Modernist Cuisine

Dining is a dialogue

Creativity trumps tradition

Break rules; surprise diners

Be inventive mere copying is uninteresting

Science and technology are sources of inspiration and tools, but are
only a means to an end

Great food is built from great ingredients

How foods are grown, harvested and slaughtered matters

New ingredients create new possibilities

Taste Perception

Each of these taste sensations probably evolved to provide

information about foods that are particularly desirable (e.g., salt,
sugar, amino acids) or undesirable (e.g., toxic alkaloids)

Taste buds, are bud-shaped groups of cells. Tastants, the molecules

being tasted, enter a small pore at the top of the taste bud

Each of these taste buds is capable of detecting all five flavors.


When food is consumed, the interaction of taste, odor and textural

feeling provides an overall sensation which is best defined by the
English word flavor

Flavor results from compounds that are divided into two broad
classes: Those responsible for taste and those responsible for odors


Our experience of foods is mediated through all our senses: these

include all the familiar senses (pain, touch, sight, hearing, taste, and

Texture plays a major role in our recognition of foods

Vision is active in texture perception when we see the food

Additionally, audition, somesthesis, and kinesthesis are active during

handling of the food

Food Acceptability

In addition to the actual signals from the sensors, there are further,
perhaps surprising ways in which we perceive the environment
around us which can significantly affect the flavor of the food we are

Try eating the same food using either high-quality china plates and
steel or silver cutlery or paper plates and plastic cutlery; the food
seems to taste better with the perceived quality of the utensils