P374: Chemistry of food and cooking: A gen-ed science class

Author: Nancy Flachskam, Kentucky Wesleyan College, USA

Co-Author: Henry Connor, Kentucky Wesleyan College, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 6:00 PM7:15 PM

Room: KC

Related Symposium: S33

Chemistry of food and cooking was developed to offer an appealing general-education course for non-science majors. The purposes of the course are to introduce scientific principles through food and cooking, improve quantitative literacy and utilize group work as an effective teaching method. My role was development of the laboratory experiments. Lab procedures were developed from a variety of sources, including workshops at BCCE 2012. The introductory labs involved measurement and simple statistics: Students prepared no-bake cookies using a recipe with nonstandard measurements then examined the variability of measurements using non-standard cups and the variability in using volume to measure flour. The percentage of sugar in soft drinks was determined by preparing a graph of percent sugar vs. density of known sugar solutions. Snack foods were burned to determine calorie content. Fats were isolated from snack foods and proteins were isolated from flour and milk. The semester ended with experiments in molecular gastronomy involving leavening cake with nitrous oxide, and making fruit caviar and chocolate mousse. .