Everywhere, wherever we turned our eyes, we are surrounded by objects and articles manufactured from substances and materials that are received due to some chemical processes. Moreover, in everyday life, each of us, without even knowing it, becomes a cause or an actor in chemical reactions. For example, washing with soap and water, cleaning with detergent, etc.
The role of chemistry in kitchen is also way too important. When lowering the slices of lemon in a glass of hot tea there is a weakening of tea color, as tea here acts like an acid indicator such as litmus. A similar acid-base interaction is adding some vinegar to chopped blue cabbage. The experienced cooks know that as a result of this reaction the cabbage will turn pink.
Anything, or almost anything, we do in the kitchen can be interpreted as a real and sometimes quite complex chemical reaction.
Cooking is chemistry. No wonder they say that women chemists often are very good cooks. Indeed, cooking the food in the kitchen sometimes recalls the organic synthesis in laboratory. Only instead of flasks and retorts, in the kitchen, we use pots and pans, and sometimes even the autoclaves in the form of the pressure cookers.
It is no use to further enumerate chemical processes that we are faced in the kitchen. We only need to point out that there is a great deal of various chemical reactions in any living organism. The processes of digesting food and breathing are based on chemical reactions.
“No one has done so much to improve the lives of people like chemists,” was rightly argued by the Nobel Laureate Harold Kroto.
However, despite the invaluable benefits that chemistry brings to humanity, chemophobia – fear of chemistry – is a quite often case. The paradox is even stronger when we see that each living person on Earth is more or less a chemist. For example, when he does a general cleaning, washing or trying to prepare some food in the kitchen.
In fact, modern kitchen is in much the same way as chemical laboratory. The only difference is that the kitchen shelves are busy by little jars filled with all sorts of cereals and spices, and the laboratory is crowded with reagents not intended for food.
Instead of chemical names “sodium chloride” or “saceharobiose,” in the kitchen, there are more familiar words “salt” and “sugar”. Cooking dishes on culinary recipe can be compared with the methodology of chemical experiment.
Of course, there are still a lot of questions about what is happening with nutrients when heated in a saucepan or when frying in a pan. Understanding of these processes is necessary not only for traditional cuisine, but also for the development of new cooking technology.
Certainly, in addition to the necessary ingredients the chef puts into each dish and your soul. It doesn’t matter whether he is a supporter of classical traditions or prefers improvisation. All this makes cooking a special kind of art and at the same time brings it together with chemical science.
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