Posts Tagged ‘Erik van der Linden’

Gastrophysics symposium in Copenhagen

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

On August 27-28 the symposium “The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics” was held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen. The symposium poster said “interdisciplinary”, and with presentations by scientists in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to neuroscience and psychology I think it lived up to its name. In this post I share with you what I found interesting and useful from my own, subjective perspective. I must admit that I didn’t understand everything presented. Perhaps this is even a general challenge for the whole field. It illustrates how difficult it is to do science that is simple enough for chefs to understand yet scientific enough for scientists. César Vega and Ruben Mercadé-Prieto’s study on egg yolks is perhaps one of the best examples of a paper that manages to balance the two. A couple of the presentations were very successful at this, and I think that if we continue to meet at similar symposiums we will see many more papers that manage to catch the attention of chefs and scientists at the same time.

Throughout the symposium (more…)

The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Next week, on August 27-28, an interdisciplinary symposium entitled “The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics” will be held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen. I’m sorry to inform you that participation is by invitation only. However, having been included among the invited speakers, I promise to report back here with my impressions from the symposium. Considering the seminar on molecular gastronomy in 2011, the many Danish authors in the 2010 review on molecular gastronomy, the Nordic Food Lab (and their links to Noma) and now the upcoming symposium on gastrophysics, one can easily argue that Copenhagen is becoming an international hotspot for those interested in “the scientific study of deliciousness”.

From the program: (more…)

Books for your Christmas wish list

Friday, December 16th, 2011

A couple of books have caught my eye during the year and have naturally made their way into my Christmas wish list (and some I’ve already ordered myself). Please let me know if there are books you belive should be on this list that I have missed.
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Available for pre-order: The Kitchen as Laboratory

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

A book I’ve been looking forward to for a long time is The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking. It is now available for pre-order with expected delivery on January 31st, 2012. Work on the book began back in 2008, and that year coincidentally marked the 20th anniversary of But the crackling is superb, a refreshing anthology on the science of cooking and eating edited by Nicholas and Giana Kurti. The editors of The Kitchen as Laboratory, Cesar Vega Morales, Job Ubbink and Erik van van der Linden, wanted to continue in the spirit of this book. Through 35 essays the invited chefs, scientists and cooks explore topics of their choice, often based on experiments in their own kitchen. This includes a contribution by me on the Maillard reaction and how we – often without thinking about it – increase it’s rate in different ways when cooking. As for the other contributions, based on the preliminary lists all I can say is that I look forward to read the book!

Recent academic articles

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

There are a couple of recent academic papers that have been published the last 2 years which I haven’t mentioned in blog posts, but they really deserve attention. Here’s the list (with quotes from the abstracts):

Molecular gastronomy: a food fad or science supporting innovative cuisine? Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink (Trends Food Sci Technol 2008, 19(7), 372-382)

The concepts, history and approaches of molecular gastronomy are discussed with an emphasis on the relation to food science and technology. A distinction is made between molecular gastronomy and science-based cooking (…) We discuss how chefs are dealing with the available systematic knowledge on food and cooking, and how molecular gastronomy can facilitate the cumbersome, but much needed discussions among food scientists and chefs.

Molecular Gastronomy: A Food Fad or an Interface for Science-based Cooking? Erik van der Linden, David Julian McClements and Job Ubbink (Food Biophysics, 2008, 3(2), 246-254)

A review is given over the field of molecular gastronomy and its relation to science and cooking. We begin with a brief history of the field of molecular gastronomy, the definition of the term itself, and the current controversy surrounding this term. (…) On the one hand, it can facilitate the implementation of new ideas and recipes in restaurants. On the other hand, it challenges scientists to apply their fundamental scientific understanding to the complexities of cooking, and it challenges them to expand the scientific understanding of many chemical and physical mechanisms beyond the common mass-produced food products.

The life of an anise-flavored alcoholic beverage: Does its stability cloud or confirm theory? Elke Scholten, Erik van der Linden, Hervé This (Langmuir 2008, 24(5), 1701-1706).

The well-known alcoholic beverage Pastis becomes turbid when mixed with water due to the poor solubility of trans-anethol, the anise-flavored component of Pastis in the water solution formed. This destabilization appears as the formation of micrometer-sized droplets that only very slowly grow in size, thus expanding the life of the anise-flavored beverage. (…) experiments on Ostwald ripening show an increase in stability with increasing ethanol concentration, the results based on our interfacial tension measurements in combination with the same Ostwald ripening model show a decrease in stability with an increase in ethanol concentration.

Formal descriptions for formulation, Hervé This (Int J Pharm 2007, 344(1-2), 4-8)

Two formalisms used to describe the physical microstructure and the organization of formulated products are given. The first, called “complex disperse systems formalism” (CDS formalism) is useful for the description of the physical nature of disperse matter. The second, called “non periodical organizational space formalism” (NPOS formalism) has the same operators as the CDS formalism, but different elements; it is useful to describe the arrangement of any objects in space. Both formalisms can be viewed as the same, applied to different orders of magnitude for spatial size.

Lavoisier and meat stock Hervé This, Robert Meric, Anne Cazor (Compt Rend Chim 2006, 9(11-12), 1510-1515).

Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier published his results on meat stock’ preparations in 1783. Measuring density, he stated that food principles’ were better extracted using a large quantity of water. This result was checked.