Friday, 22 February 2013

How to Freak Out a Foodie - ScienceNOW

How to Freak Out a Foodie - ScienceNOW

There is a whole bunch of science in food.  I find learning about science while eating is delightful.  The chef/ inventor/economist/food extraordinaire Nathan Myhrvold is a true polymath and has amalgamated the world of food and the world of science. 

As this blog deals with surface tension I took the clause out from the article here that talks about surface tension.

'Mayonnaise is not just a sandwich spread, but a wonder of surface tension between droplets of oil.'   This is nicely explained here.  Basically the mayonnaise is a unique emulsion which contains the mixture of water and oil and thus called a colloid. One of the the major components in the mayonnaise is oil.  The oil is dispersed throughout the lesser amount of continuous aqueous phase (water).  However, the interesting part about mayonnaise is that the structure can be easily disrupted because of this unusual relationship between the oil and aqueous phase. Integration of processing and colloid chemistry is essential to understanding the formation and stabilization of the mayonnaise.  An emulsifier needs to be added (in this case egg yolk lecithin) in order to get them to mix the two phases properly.  And that is why it is a wonder of surface tension.  Without an emulsifier breaking the interfacial tension between the oil and water phase there would just phase separation of water and oil.  This happens when these emulsifiers go rancid.   

Learn more about mayonnaise here before shoving that mayo dripping burger into your mouth.