Chemistry of Cooking
Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez, American University
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: Sorangel Rodriguez-Velazquez
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The text covers the fundamental topics of chemistry and the understanding of how ingredients are used in cooking. The topics are interesting for anyone who loves science and cooking. read more
The text covers the fundamental topics of chemistry and the understanding of how ingredients are used in cooking. The topics are interesting for anyone who loves science and cooking.
The information presented appears to be accurate.
The content is up-to-date and relevant to basic food chemistry. Updates will be beneficial when new products come to the market.
The text is very easy to understand.
The framework is consistent throughout the textbook.
The searchable PDF format makes searching extremely easy.
In general, the topics are introduced in a logical fashion. Some fundamental concepts could be further explained in the later sections of the text.
It would be helpful if the figures and charts could be bigger in the PDF document.
The text is very well-written.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
It is a great introductory science textbook for non-science majors.
The text provides a table of contents but does not provide an index or glossary. The text appears to be geared more towards baking than cooking. The text covers most areas of food but does not cover proteins. read more
The text provides a table of contents but does not provide an index or glossary. The text appears to be geared more towards baking than cooking. The text covers most areas of food but does not cover proteins.
The textbook appears to be very accurate and free from any bias. There does not appear to be any references sited at to the sources of the content.
The textbook us up to date and since it is about the chemistry of food (versus nutrition), not much changes so it should not become obsolete in a short period of time. Given the format of the text, updates should be relatively easy to implement.
The text is very clear. The prose is straightforward. There are concise learning objectives before sections. There are very good definitions of technical terms to lead off sections, providing clarity.
The terminology is consistent but the framework or layout is inconsistent and rather confusing.
This text is very modular. In fact, in my teaching, I would easily apply just a portion of the text where it fits in with the curriculum I teach.
The organization seems scattered and often times random after going through the text. This is not evident by just viewing the table of contents.
The interface is somewhat text heavy. In other words, some breaks and variation on the way items are presented would be helpful. The images and charts seem a lot smaller than the text. In the photos with text, often the text is unreadable. There are what appear to be random indentations from page to page making it a bit confusing.
Grammatically, it appears error-free.
The text does not appear to be culturally insensitive and appears to be presented very objectively.
It provides a great primer of overall chemistry (atoms, matter, etc,) which needed to understand the food chemistry portion of the textbook. It presents the way food functions on a molecular level which directly lends itself to one becoming a better cook.
easy to understand and flow was good read more
easy to understand and flow was good
would like to see fruits and vegetables addressed in this book
covers a range of topics
smaller reading sections are within this book
very clear fashion and logical
no navigation issue however on my phone i had issues opening on my mac it was perfectly fine
not that i noticed
I think more backgrounds could have been covered
This book flows well. I think a first year college student focusing on food chemistry would find this book easy to understand, I also think students not with a focus in science could understand this as well. It covers a variety of subjects.
This book is definitely recommended to the students who are majored in Food Chemistry and Food Science. It covered chemistry-related concepts, like inorganic, analytical, organic, and physical chemistry. Also, it provides other fun aspects like... read more
This book is definitely recommended to the students who are majored in Food Chemistry and Food Science. It covered chemistry-related concepts, like inorganic, analytical, organic, and physical chemistry. Also, it provides other fun aspects like the chemistry of phone, as well as giving cooking or food-related exercise questions. However, if it could shorten the basic chemistry concepts (it takes up more than one-third of the book), and cover more cooking-related content, it will attract more scholars or students. Also, it covers a lot of essential cooking ingredients, but I didn't see any chapter covering fruits and vegetables, both of which contain essential compounds to our diet, like pigments, antioxidants, and carbohydrates.
It is an error-free book.
The first two chapter covers too much basic chemistry content, which we can easily find in general or introductory chemistry books. Also, some calculation examples are not relevant to the topic. Readers would expect to see more fun examples using ingredients as examples, wouldn't they?
Some of the first-shown terms were not defined very well, and the author didn't go deeply to connect with the chemistry concepts.
Overall, it is a good topic selection. Some calculation examples are off to the topic, chemistry of cooking. These examples can be found in any of the basic chemistry books.
I would suggest the author to use more sub-titles, which could help with the navigation.
This book is written in a logical and clear fashion. However, somehow, it kind of jumps back and forth between chemistry and cooking ingredients, and failed in addressing the connection.
Some images are misaligned which would be confusing to students.
No grammatical error was found.
No cultural and offensive content was found.
It is a very interesting and fun topic, most of the students and scholars will appreciate the resources.
First third is a refresher of basic chemistry. Second third covers more about ingredients than food chemistry and the last covers chemistry associated with taste. I feel the first section could be shortened and examples improved but will be using... read more
First third is a refresher of basic chemistry. Second third covers more about ingredients than food chemistry and the last covers chemistry associated with taste. I feel the first section could be shortened and examples improved but will be using the work as an additional reference in our Food Chemistry course.
No errors detected but have read book completely; just sections
About 1/3rd of book has direct relevance to our course and teaching.
The book moves through the material easily but never goes deeply in depth
Various sections appear to be written by different authors and do not tie up together easily without additional information.
Book is broken up into easy to read/assign sections but not quite a the level i would expect for a college course
Book organization is easy to follow and well thought out.
When viewing as PDF the pages appear to be misaligned but this is do to setting it as book rather than digital document. Also, having links verse images means students cannot print out sections and bring to class.
No errors detected but have read book completely; just sections
No in-sensitivities detected but have read book completely; just sections
I appreciate the resource and will be using significant parts of it but do not think it can replace the commercial textbooks at this time.
I think the basic principles are covered in a comprehensive manner but the flow could be better between the topics. More detail could have been included as to how the chemistry of the process works. Maybe more examples of why chemistry is... read more
I think the basic principles are covered in a comprehensive manner but the flow could be better between the topics. More detail could have been included as to how the chemistry of the process works. Maybe more examples of why chemistry is important could have been include in the beginning where chemistry fundamentals are discussed. In general has a comprehensive glossary.
I found it to be accurate regarding the chemistry . More reactions would have strengthened the content. Some typos regarding subscripts in empirical and molecular formula solutions in figure 2 regarding titanium dioxide and regarding acetic acid empirical and molecular formula figure 6 and empirical and molecular formula solution. For carvone the stereochemistry is lacking in figure 9.
I believe the connection between chemistry and cooking could be better integrated. More connections to fundamental concepts would have enhanced it's relevance to the title of text. Sticking to cooking examples and topics would enhance relevance.
Definitions are straight forward . Written in understandable language for intended audience.
Consistent with general chemistry and cooking but terms could have been integrated more. Some terms could have been incorporated more clearly such as oxidation and how cooking devices such as pressure cookers related to general principles of general chemistry.
Easy to locate terms and sections.
There is a logical flow to topics for the most part and follows the table of contents.
The figures are easy to navigate and understand regarding figures, charts, graphs.
Highlighting a couple of other international cultures would have added to the topic(s) since the readers are probably multicultural. It is however not offensive or insensitive to other cultures.
This is a relevant interesting topic and a good attempt that could become an outstanding effort with a few changes/ additions/ corrections. As an online book i believe instructor presence is needed so synchronous vs asynchronous use.
As a GED instructor, I looked to this text to introduce basic chemistry concepts. It does this well. I was also looking for examples of basic chemistry in everyday cooking. I think the text could have been more straightforward in tying the... read more
As a GED instructor, I looked to this text to introduce basic chemistry concepts. It does this well. I was also looking for examples of basic chemistry in everyday cooking. I think the text could have been more straightforward in tying the cooking concepts with the basic chemistry. As it is, there is a section at the beginning that covers basic chemistry, but it does not include any cooking examples. The text does provide an accurate index.
I found the text to be accurate and I did use parts of the text to introduce basic chemistry concepts to GED students.
I think the text could better integrate chemistry and cooking concepts. As it is, it is disjointed.
GED preparation students were able to read and understand the text with limited instructor support.
Again, I find this text to be disjointed. I would hope that future editions would integrate cooking concepts with the basic Chemistry section.
I was easily able to take sections of this text to introduce basic chemistry to GED students. It was not an overwhelming task to find the sections that I wanted to use in class.
The book is organized as it states in the table to contents. This was easy to find and to use. Again, I would like to see more integration of the cooking and the chemistry content.
My class had no difficulties navigating or understanding the figures and content that we used in class.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
The text was not insensitive or offensive. Cooking examples of a variety of ethnicity and backgrounds could make the text even more relevant to students.
If nothing else, this text helped me as a GED instructor to understand chemistry content to teach to my students. However, I found the exact same basic chemistry content in other Open Resource textbooks. My hope was to find practical examples of basic chemistry to tie in with the instruction. Those examples were not easy to access in this text.
I was very excited to look at this textbook as we teach a similar course in Consumer Chemistry and was hoping that we could use some of the materials in here for our course. However, I was a bit disappointed. I do think that the topic is... read more
I was very excited to look at this textbook as we teach a similar course in Consumer Chemistry and was hoping that we could use some of the materials in here for our course. However, I was a bit disappointed. I do think that the topic is amazingly interesting and there is a lot of potential for this book to become a great teaching resource. However, it the current state, the first two chapters which discuss basic general chemistry seem disjointed or disconnected from the topic of cooking, while the later chapters discussing elements of cooking, do not go far enough into the topics of chemistry to help discuss why chemistry is involved in cooking. For example, in the chapter discussing fat, they briefly describe emulsification agents, but they don't use this as an opportunity to describe the chemistry behind the process of emulsification or discuss polarity. These are missed opportunities within the text to elaborate more on fundamental chemistry processes.
The content delivered appears to be accurate and presented in an unbiased way, but is again lacking in chemistry detail that helps shed light on why cooking processes work the way that they do. Or it is presented without connection to the previous text. For example, the catalysis section begins with, 'We have seen that the rate of many reactions can be accelerated by catalysts.' However, I can't really find earlier reference in the text to catalysts or even any substantial chemical reactions.
The text reads more like a glossary of terms without having many useful pictures and figures. It also lacks in connections to fundamental concepts in chemistry. As an example, in the sugar section, glucose properties are listed and the term hygroscopic is used in the text for the first time. However, there is no discussion about what that term means or why certain substances display that characteristic.
I felt that many of the new terms that are shown in bolded font were not defined well or connected back with their chemistry connections.
I think the overall topic selection is fine and that this has the potential to be a very interesting course, if some of the examples given were elaborated on to discuss the chemistry properties that are inherent to them.
This text is in searchable and table of contents driven PDF format. This works alright, but is a little frustrating for me in general to navigate. But that may just be my own preference for a hardcopy textbook. For a PDF file, it was pretty easy to find specific topics.
In general, I think the topics flow in a logical fashion and could be really interesting if connected better to their chemistry origins. However, as written, it jumps back and forth between chemistry and cooking, rather than integrating the chemistry concepts into the different areas of food products and cooking.
Yes, the figures that is does have are easy to navigate to and they are clearly presented. However, I don't feel that there are enough useful figures within the text. Many chapters are listing definitions of substances, more like a glossary.
It was easy to read and was grammatically correct.
The text is focused more on western baking ingredients. It could contain more referencing to international food processing/cooking methodologies and the chemistry contained within those processes.
I think it would be helpful to determine what chemistry content is required for the course and then find useful cooking examples to use to explain these phenomena. It would be much more dynamic and interesting that way....
The topics selected for for food chemistry were interesting, although I was surprised that there was little to no focus on fruits and vegetables. In the eggs sections I was also hoping for more explanation on the significant differences in... read more
The topics selected for for food chemistry were interesting, although I was surprised that there was little to no focus on fruits and vegetables. In the eggs sections I was also hoping for more explanation on the significant differences in strength between organic and store-bought egg shells, and other differences between the two.
The accuracy of the information was high, although accompanying actual chemical structures were limited. For example, it provided good information about agents cornstarch and/or gelatin but did not touch on their chemical structures / make-up. And in the case of casein mentioned in the coagulation section, it might have been useful to mention other uses, for example in adhesives, paints, and other industrial products.
There will always be an interest in food chemistry, as long as humans need to eat to stay alive.
The textbook is very clearly and well written, and organized well. It was difficult to read when a hard copy was printed because the images didn't always match the text sizes (i.e. page 185 the images were difficult to read).
Chapters are presented with consistent topic / conceptual depth within each chapter.
I appreciated the background on matter and the elements and periodic table being at the beginning. However, I felt the acid / base section was oddly placed and would have been better at the beginning. The chapters otherwise were well presented.
See my comment in modularity about acids / bases.
As mentioned a few of the images are difficult to read.
The textbook language is very well-written.
Language used seems appropriate across cultures.
I would love to see additional aspects of food chemistry that surround organic versus traditional vegetables, meats, eggs, etc.
The text is rather comprehensive in its discussion of basic principles of general chemistry, up through page 100, and also in the general description of food materials and procedures of food processing. after page 100. What is greatly missing... read more
The text is rather comprehensive in its discussion of basic principles of general chemistry, up through page 100, and also in the general description of food materials and procedures of food processing. after page 100. What is greatly missing however is the combination of chemistry with cooking, which from the book title I thought would be the major focus. This is greatly lacking, in my opinion.
I did not find anything inaccurate per se, just not all that well-defined in many places (particularly in the cooking section, after page 100. Lots and lots of essential details could have been added, to interject chemistry into understanding the cooking of food and food processing. There are a plethora of typos that need to be fixed, such as the superscripts for cubic centimeter (pages 23/24 an din the glossary on pages 26/27, the subscripted numbers are mangled for H2, F2, Cl2, Br2, I2 (see page 84), TiO2 (page 85, two places), CH2O (page 86), the numbers in C6H12O6, C2H4O2, and CH2O (top to middle of page 86) should be subscripted. On page 88, the two chemical structures shown for D- and L-carvone do not depict stereochemistry, and are thus not proper enantiomeric structures. - they are, in fact, the same compound as drawn. On page 95, lines 1 and 3 under the table 1, the words after "polyatomic" and "oxygen atoms" are too mangled to read, at least on my pdf printout.
The book content can easily be divided into two discreet, non-interactive components: basic principals of general chemistry (pages 1-100), and cooking methods/materials (after page 100). There is virtually no mixing of the two components, although there are plenty of opportunities to do so. For instance, rather than discussing things like fuel cells and cell phones unrelated to cooking (see page 10, figs 11 and 12), the author could include examples from cooking and food processing. When discussing acid-base reactions, the author could leave out the sinkhole example, and perhaps describe food carbonation and release of carbon dioxide in acidic media.There are just very few examples of chemical explanations or of simple chemical phenomena mentioned in the entire cooking section, and there are certainly many scenarios where this can be done.
The text is straightforward enough to read, albeit the embedded figures and schemes are almost irrelevant since they are far too difficult to even see. The much bigger issue regarding clarity are in the many figures and diagrams through out the text. In the pdf I printed out, almost none of the figures and diagrams are legible at all. Some are simply way too small or too blurry to see. Quick examples are Fig 5 (page 6), Figs 6 and 7 (page 7), Fig 9 (page 8), etc etc. In various places (for example, see page 10 and page 86), font appears well outside of the boxes, this is very distracting and unnecessary.
The two components of the book (general chemistry principles versus cooking) seem to be consistent within their own own sections, but there is a clear dissection separating the two components as if two different authors wrote it (which was not actually the case). The general chemistry section is highly detailed, organized and systematic, while the cooking section is mostly verbal descriptions of what things are classified as, without much breakdown of chemical principles involved. Suitable examples are also not consistently presented especially n the cooking section (the ones that are do not seem relevant to cooking). The use of pressure cookers, for instance, to describe rapid food preparation and also a basic general chemistry principle, would be good to include in both sections. Oxidation chemistry is another important thing to put into both sections- rather than fuel cells maybe, talk about how foods cook or brown in air at high temperature through oxidation, or go sour, rancid, spoil, etc if left open to the air.
As described above, the book is essentially two completely independent components on their own, one not benefitting the other. To a chemist, the book is not useful since the general chemistry principles can be found in any other general chemistry text, and to people interested in cooking, the section on that topic is a compendium of descriptions that are either expected to be memorized, or purposely intended not to be related to chemistry.
The author has to find a practical way to completely mix the general chemistry discussions with the cooking sections. I don't know how, but in the present state, there are no correlations between the two, and this makes the book almost useless to its readers.
See items 2 and 4 above, for the comments on this. The graphics really need a lot of work.
The grammar seems suitable for the intended audience.
To my reading, there are no issues of any kind in this regard. Perhaps the author could find pertinent examples of foods and chemistry used in cooking from different cultures to highlight that better, if that seems useful. That would actually add a nice dimension to the book.
I have said enough. The book is on an interesting topic, and with focused effort and critical evaluation fro m her peers, the author could have a gem of a book that would be useful to those interested in chemistry and in cooking. This would be worth the effort in my opinion.
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... 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 were compared to everyday situations, making it very easy to relate to, even to the self taught... 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.