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SIS_7_45-72 15.11.

2007 18:03 Uhr Seite 65

Reviews

Kitchen Chemistry
By Ted Lister and Heston Blumenthal
Reviewed by Tim Harrison, University of Bristol, UK

Why do some people find that their experiments, and for the handling of the 3D structures of molecules.)
urine smells horribly after eating liquid nitrogen in the chapter on mak- Ted Lister has written several publi-
asparagus? Should green beans be ing ice-cream, are also included. cations for the Royal Society of
cooked with the lid on or off? How There are three activities aimed Chemistry. Heston Blumenthal is one
hot are chilli peppers? What affects specifically at younger students. of the UK’s top chefs whose restau-
the colour and texture of cooked veg- These include investigating several of rant, The Fat Duck, has the distinction
etables? These are a few of the ques- the variables that affect how jelly sets of three Michelin stars. It was also
tions that the Kitchen Chemistry book in contact with fresh fruit, as well as voted the best restaurant in the world
and CD-ROM aim to answer with a ice-cream making. For 11- to 16-year- in April 2005. Heston is noted for his
range of experiments and other olds, there are several experiments scientific approach to cooking.
activities. investigating salt and the use of salt
As the front cover states, “This in cooking. The post-16 activities Resources
resource for schools and colleges make use of skeleton formulae of Teachers who wish to see the work-
demonstrates the role of chemistry in compounds and high-pressure liquid sheets before purchasing this
the kitchen and highlights the wide chromatography (HPLC) chro- resource may download them from
applicability of chemical principles.” matograms. Experiments include the www.chemsoc.org/
The back page continues: “Although titration of sodium chloride solutions kitchenchemistry.
not directly part of most [UK] school’s to see if vegetables absorb salt when For more information on activities of
curricula, this topic provides an excit- cooked, and the chemistry of baking The Royal Society of Chemistry,
ing context for some familiar chem- powder. Other exercises examine the including those designed for
istry and a way to engage students structure of ice and water, the chem- students, see: www.rsc.org
with the topic.” The book consists of istry of flavour and why pans stick.
class practicals, demonstrations, com- A CD-ROM, to be used alongside Details
prehension exercises and paper-based the book, lists resources by book Publisher: The Royal Society of
activities. The activities are presented chapter. These resources include the Chemistry
as teachers’ notes and student work- worksheets (as Microsoft Word® docu- Publication year: 2005
sheets. ments or PDF files in colour or black ISBN: 9780854043897
If selected carefully, food chemistry and white), a presentation on salt,
experiments can be conducted by stu- some rotatable Chime structures of Ordering
dents from primary to pre-university ice, and links to 16 video clips that The resource can be ordered from the
level. Indeed, a helpful index cate- can be downloaded from the Internet. Royal Society of Chemistry:
gorises the Kitchen Chemistry activities To view the video clips, a PC must be www.rsc.org
by age: 5-11, 11-16 and post-16 (pre- connected to the Internet. The clips,
university). Most topics are for post- featuring Heston Blumenthal from the
16 students but even these could be Discovery Channel TV series ‘Kitchen
used for younger, more able students, Chemistry’, are available in three for-
particularly if they were adapted mats:
accordingly. Each topic describes the · 2MB Windows Media Video (wmv)
learning objectives, targeted age · 15MB Windows Media Video
group, approximate timings, a
description, teaching notes and
· 35MB MPEG.
Adobe Acrobat Reader and Chime
details of the student activities. Notes plug-ins are available on the CD-
on the risk assessments for food ROM. (Chime is needed to visualise
www.scienceinschool.org Science in School Issue 7 : Winter 2007 65