Category Archives: Food Science

“Fowl Science: Talking Turkey”

At The Exploratorium Web site, you can:

  1. Learn about the science behind how to cook a turkey
  2. .

  3. Check out the discussion on the Accidental Scientist Forum to find out if your method of cooking turkey safe or toxic?
  4. Watch the recent webcast of “Fowl Science: Talking Turkey” given by the Red Herring Restaurant’s executive chef Marc Schoenfield and learn the answers to the following questions:

    “Why does a turkey continue to cook after it’s out of the oven? How can you be sure to thoroughly cook the dark meat without drying out the white meat? Is stuffing really a good idea? How do you make the skin golden?”

Candy Chromatography

This is a fun project that can be altered to suit all different age groups. I have done this in a 3rd grade classroom. Each student got to prepare their own samples. It was a big hit!

This activity involves the use paper chromatography to separate the colors/dyes use in candy coatings of a Reese’s piece or an M&M. We choose to use the “dark brown” varieties of each candy and had the students compare the components by chromatography. It was a great way to introduce “mixtures.” Before doing the chromatography with the candy coatings, we introduced students to the concepts of chromatography using food coloring (both individual colors and mixtures of the food dyes).

Here are some references for related activities that I found on the web:

– from Science Discovery
– from Auburn University Science in Motion

…and there are even methods of dye extraction and separation for more advanced students (high school or college).

The Science of Cooking

The Exploratorium in San Francisco has a portion of their web site dedicated to the science of cooking. They have examples of activities and experiments that you can do with different food items (e.g., bread, meat, eggs, pickles, candy, etc.) Just click on the image of whichever food item you wish to learn more about and then look in the “kitchen lab” section of that web page. Within each activity/example, they have a link to a section where you can “share & discuss” your findings. This feature also allows you to get feedback on your results or ask questions to museum staff. Check it out!