Weird food science
From how to make a pickle glow to why we break wind, the internet is awash with the science behind food.
When you think about it, we’re all mucking about with scientific principles whenever we cook. Simply frying an egg creates the most extraordinary series of chemical changes as egg proteins unfold and shift from their frogspawn-like clumps into a tangled mesh. You may simply see an egg turning white, but you’re playing with chemistry, physics and pan thermodynamics there, Sonny Jim.
Here I present a few of my favourite weird and (sometimes) wonderful food research projects, facts and oddities.
- Will it blend? This site is a legend – they put pretty much anything into their blenders to prove efficacy. Watch them blend an iPhone and DON’T TRY IT AT HOME!
- Why does asparagus make urine smell?
- What is a hiccup?
- A dye used in M&Ms (Brilliant Blue G) can turn rats blue (temporarily)
- How to make chewing gum
- How do you build a fart?
- The effect of ale, garlic and soured cream on the appetite of leeches
- How to make a pickle glow
- Ultrasonic velocity in cheddar cheese as affected by temperature
- Mice genetically engineered to produce human breast milk (or at least a protein that’s found in it!)
- Making rhubarb caviar – or caviar out of pretty much anything
- How a robot chews an apple
Interesting foods and flavours
- What do you call a sandwich in a can? A candwich, obviously.
- Commercial flavourings, including honey flavour. Why not just use honey?
- Charcoal cheesecake
- Double cheese ice cream
But I need more. Please tell me about your oddly fascinating food facts.
Stefan Gates is a BBC presenter and food writer.