Chemistry of Cooking

(3 reviews)


Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez, American University

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13:

Publisher: Independent

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Reviewed by Edward Turos, Professor, University of South Florida, on 3/28/2018.

The text is rather comprehensive in its discussion of basic principles of general chemistry, up through page 100, and also in the general description … read more



Reviewed by Nicolle Fernandes, Assistant Professor, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, on 2/2/2018.

The text covers a wide range of topics, starting with the basics of what is matter and its varying states to discussing the various food ingredients … read more



Reviewed by Roberta Bernstetter, Cosmetology Instructor, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, on 2/2/2018.

The book does a great job covering the subject without much depth so that a beginning chef can clearly and easily understand the content. The topics … read more


Table of Contents

Essential Ideas

  • Essential Ideas Introduction
  • Phases and Classification of Matter
  • Physical and Chemical Properties
  • Measurements
  • Measurement Uncertainty, Accuracy, and Precision
  • Mathematical Treatment of Measurement Results
  • Energy Basics
  • Calorimetry

Atoms, Molecules, and Ions

  • The Periodic Table
  • Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
  • Atomic Structure and Symbolism
  • Chemical Formulas
  • Molecular and Ionic Compounds

Cooking Techniques: Thickening and Concentrating Flavors

  • Viscosity
  • Thickening Agents
  • Types of Thickening Agents
  • Coagulation
  • Gelatinization
  • Crystallization
  • Non-traditional thickeners
  • Sauces
  • Low-temperature and sous-vide

Understanding Ingredients: Flour

  • Introduction -- Understanding Ingredients
  • The History of Wheat Flour
  • Milling of Wheat
  • Flour Streams and Types of Wheat Flour
  • Flour Terms and Treatments
  • Flour Additives
  • Whole Grain and Artisan Milling
  • Flour in Baking
  • Rye Flour
  • Other Grains and Flours

Understanding Ingredients: Fat

  • Understanding Fats and Oils
  • Sources of Bakery Fats and Oils
  • Major Fats and Oils Used in Bakeries
  • Functions of Fat in Baking

Understanding Ingredients: Sugar

  • Sugar Chemistry (ADD US)
  • Sugar Refining
  • The Application of Sugar
  • Agave
  • Glucose/Dextrose
  • Honey
  • Malt
  • Maple Syrup (ADD US)
  • Sugar Substitutes (ADD US)

Understanding Ingredients: Leavening Agents

  • Catalysis
  • Introduction to Leavening Agents
  • Yeast
  • The Functions of Yeast
  • Using Yeast in Baking
  • Introduction to Acid- bases
  • Brønsted-Lowry Acids and Bases
  • pH and pOH
  • Baking Powder
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Ammonium Bicarbonate
  • Water Hardness and pH

Understanding Ingredients: Dairy Products

  • Introduction to Dairy Products
  • Milk
  • Milk Products ADD US
  • Milk in bread baking
  • Yogurt
  • Lactose
  • Cheese

Understanding Ingredients: Eggs

  • Eggs Grade (ADD US)
  • Composition and Nutrition
  • Egg Products
  • The Function of Eggs
  • Storing Eggs


  • From the Cocoa Bean to the Finished Chocolate
  • Chocolate Produced for the Baking Industry
  • Couverture
  • Definitions and Regulations (ADD US)

Understanding Ingredients: Spices

  • Elements of Taste
  • Introduction to Salt
  • Types of Salt
  • Functions of Salt in Baking
  • Using Salt in Fermented Doughs
  • Storing Salt
  • Introduction to Spices and Other Flavorings
  • Seasoning and Flavoring
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Flavorings in Baking


About the Book

People around the world are fascinated about the preparation of food for eating. There are countless cooking books, TV shows, celebrity chefs and kitchen gadgets that make cooking an enjoyable activity for everyone.  The chemistry of cooking course seeks to understand the science behind our most popular meals by studying the behavior of atoms and molecules present in food. This book is intended to give students a basic understanding of the chemistry involved in cooking such as caramelization, Maillard reaction, acid-base reactions, catalysis, and fermentation. Students will be able to use chemistry language to describe the process of cooking, apply chemistry knowledge to solve questions related to food, and ultimately create their own recipes.

About the Contributors


Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez is a Professorial Lecturer in Department of Chemistry at American University.