Chemistry of Cooking
Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez, American University
Pub Date: 2016
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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
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 and how they lend themselves to cooking. The topics are covered in a very succinct manner. Each section concludes with exercises and a glossary.
The content is accurate. I did not find any inconsistencies with the material.
The content is up-to-date. The basics will remain the same however updates will need to be added as and when new products and/or processes are introduced/developed within the field/industry.
The text is very straightforward, simple and easy to understand.
The text is consistent across sections. There is a logical pattern that is maintained throughout the text.
The text is modular and can be divided into smaller sections as needed.
The topics are presented in a clear, logical manner.
The interface is easy to access and use. I downloaded a PDF version of the text for review and faced no problems.
I did not encounter and grammatical errors.
The found the text to be inclusive. For instance, when discussing the elements of taste the text listed salty, sweet, sour and bitter but also when on to include Asian elements of Umami, spicy and astringency. There are several other instances throughout the text as well.
This text is written in a manner that is easy to understand and can certainly be used as a text for Food Science/ Food Chemistry at the beginner-level. I like that it has a small section on Herbs and Spices.
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
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 were compared to everyday situations, making it very easy to relate to, even to the self taught chef or cooking enthusiast.
To my knowledge the text is accurate in both aspects of cooking and chemistry. The index is concise and the glossary at the end of each chapter does a good job at simply summarizing key points and definitions.
Basic chemistry like the topics discussed in the text (atoms, molecules, ions, measurements, energy basics, periodic table,etc.) should be relevant for a long time. It does a good job helping to understand the relevance of chemistry in cooking. I would imagine cooking techniques can vary, but the information in this text is fundamental basics that would remain relevant.
The parts of the book I could relate to, and have basic understanding of, were very clearly written and appropriate for the intended audience. More importantly, topics unfamiliar to me were clearly written in a way that I have a better understanding of the concepts without confusion.
The author did an excellent job of keeping the book terminology consistent from chapter to chapter, building on key concepts and integrating the information as it related to each different topic.
The book has a clearly written table of content identifying each topic and subtopics in each chapter. Each section is small, yet thorough, which would make it easy to cover the intended content in an ample amount of time. When clicking on the chapter heading or subtopic in the table of content it directs you directly to that section of the book.
The material flows in a logical sequence. The text begins with the basics of chemistry and flows into cooking techniques and finally into understanding basic ingredients.
Being able to jump to specific chapters and subtopics quickly is very beneficial to students. This would be a must for me if there was an OER available in my line of expertise.
This book appeared to be free from grammatical error.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
As a self taught chef, meaning I really don't know much at all, this book did a really good job at simplifying processes in cooking and helping mem to understand basic ingredients and what they are used for. Some of the information in the chemistry chapters will be integrated into my Basics of Chemistry cosmetology course. Great book!
Table of Contents
- Essential Ideas Introduction
- Phases and Classification of Matter
- Physical and Chemical Properties
- Measurement Uncertainty, Accuracy, and Precision
- Mathematical Treatment of Measurement Results
- Energy Basics
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
- Thickening Agents
- Types of Thickening Agents
- Non-traditional thickeners
- 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
- Maple Syrup (ADD US)
- Sugar Substitutes (ADD US)
Understanding Ingredients: Leavening Agents
- Introduction to Leavening Agents
- 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 Products ADD US
- Milk in bread baking
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
- 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
- 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.