The Science of Taste

Ingredients of a Twinkie

Red 40, one of the 37 ingredients in a Twinkie. (Image by photographer Dwight Eschliman)

1. Custom-made, low-sodium conical salt crystals and Pepsi’s quest to making eating unhealthily slightly less unhealthy: Snacks for A Fat Planet by John Seabrook, The New Yorker. And the short version on Science Wired: The Future of Salt and Sugar is Being Engineered in a PepsiCo Lab.

2. Food science secrets are so elusive, they inspire espionage: A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them, The New York Times.

3. At least 28 more than a birthday cake: Dwight Eschliman’s 37 Ingredients for a Twinkie. (Pictured)

4. Eternal shelf lives, perfect mouthfeels and unalterable consistency doesn’t come naturally, it’s brought to you by a quiet army of food scientists. The Institute of Food Technologists bring you the latest in ultrasonic processing, tips on how to get creative with hydrocolloids, and news about the latest breakthrough in mapping the aromatexture of blue cheese.

5. Not all food science is bad. The molecule-level perspective of Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, makes for one of the best food books out there.

6. It isn’t just the scientists who are trying to recreate nature by getting as far away from it as possible. A Michelin Chef’s Formula for Future of Fine Dining (The Times) means that: “Tomorrow’s chefs will frown upon plain vegetables, such as carrots, he says, and will instead use the molecules which make up carrots — caroteniods, pectins, fructose and glucuronic acid.”

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