Understanding the Science of Food : From molecules to mouthfeel book cover
1st Edition

Understanding the Science of Food
From molecules to mouthfeel

ISBN 9781760296063
Published July 26, 2017 by Routledge
424 Pages

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Book Description

Being able to understand the principles of food science is vital for the study of food, nutrition and the culinary arts. In this innovative text, the authors explain in straightforward and accessible terms the theory and application of chemistry to these fields.

The key processes in food preparation and the chemistry behind them are described in detail, including denaturation and coagulation of proteins, gelatinisation, gelation and retrogradation of starches, thickening and gelling, browning reactions, emulsification, foams and spherification, chemical, mechanical and biological leaveners and fermentation and preservation.

The text also describes the science of key cooking techniques, the science of the senses and the experience of food, food regulations and the future of healthy food. The origins of food are explored through a focus on the primary production of key staples and their journey to the table. Tips and advice from leading chefs as well as insights into emerging food science and cutting-edge nutrition research from around the world are included throughout, and reveal both the practical application of food chemistry and the importance of this field.

Featuring explanatory diagrams and illustrations throughout, Understanding the Science of Food is destined to become an essential reference for both students and professionals.

'An innovative and informative text that will address the need for a food science text suitable for nutrition and dietetics students in Australia.' - Katherine Hanna, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology.

'A unique and timely text that will be welcomed by students, instructors, and scientists in multiple disciplines. I am thrilled to see such a modern take on the subject, blending the fundamentals of food science and chemistry with the insights and experience of practitioners from the culinary arts.' - Patrick Spicer, lecturer and researcher in food science

Table of Contents

List of figures, tables and boxes

List of measurements

About the authors


Part 1 Food components, introductory chemistry and food safety

1. Introductory chemistry

2. Food components

3. Food classifications and groupings

4. Food safety

Part 2 Unlocking key food chemistry reactions

5. Protein structure, denaturation and coagulation

6. Polysaccharide thickeners and gels

7. Sugar, browning and caramelisation

8. Emulsifiers, fats and foams

9. Chemical, mechanical and biological leaveners

10. Preservation and fermentation

Part 3 Enhancing cooking

11. Optimising cooking with phase transitions

12. Maximising the sensory experience

13. Gazing into a healthy food future

Appendix 1. Food regulations in Australia and New Zealand

Appendix 2. A scientific approach in the kitchen


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SHARON CROXFORD is an accredited practising dietitian and senior academic at La Trobe University. She was co-editor of Food and Nutrition Throughout Life. EMMA STIRLING is an accredited practising dietitian and academic at La Trobe University.