Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 2 – Culinary Chemistry (Rising 3rd/4th)
Culinary chemistry is brewing something interesting! We had an excellent start to the day with review tic-tac-toe, and it’s very obvious that they so much about what we learned yesterday on carbohydrates. We continued our lab on testing the samples of food with iodine solution and Benedict’s solution. Some surprises – turns out tofu has some basic sugars, though you wouldn’t be able to taste it. And some of us learned that the mystery substance (ham) doesn’t have starch.
We also got a… taste of how digestion doesn’t wait until food gets to our stomachs – it actually starts in our mouths! In addition to mechanical digestion (chewing), the enzymes in our saliva start to break down our food. We tried to chew food and see how amylase converts the starches into sugars, and test it with the iodine solution. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work (5 minutes is recommended, we got tired at 2), so we just did a quick & dirty version by just resting the saltine on your tongue. After just a few moments, we could detect a bit of sweetness that wasn’t there before – the amylase metabolized the starches into sugars in seconds.
We also got to start three long-term labs, each with various levels of edible foods. First: fast food vs. fresh food. With a few slices of potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, we will compare how they fare out in the open, vs. a fast food cheeseburger, some potato chips, and a hot dog bun. Our second long-term exercise was to start on our ginger soda. Although I did most of the work, we’re going to see how the mixture will change over the next few days, and enjoy a taste on Friday! Finally, we started our rock candy, to see how supersaturation and crystallization work.
In addition to wrapping up our unit on carbohydrates, we also got started on another major part of food – proteins! Learning about how they are involved in our foods, we also learned a little bit more about where we find proteins in our bodies (like keratin for hair & nails, or collagen & elastin for much of our connective tissues). Our work will continue tomorrow as we run tests on various foods to see what other surprises may come our way!