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Why do we like some foods and hate others?

by Dr Peter Barham, H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol

What makes some foods taste really good together while other pairings are just plain disgusting? In this short demonstration lecture we will explore how we actually use all our senses to assess the food we eat. We use our eyes to see the colour, shape and size, our ears to hear any sizzling or crackling, we use our hands to feel the texture, our tongues to sense the taste, our noses to sense the aroma and all the nerves in our mouths to assess the “mouthfeel”. We integrate all these sensations into what we call the “flavour” and then decide whether or not we like it. We will see how the same meat can be prepared and cooked in different ways to give very different flavours and textures. We will show how some flavour combinations work well while others do not. Finally we will show how using items from the science lab can allow us to do things that are otherwise impossible in the kitchen.

There will be the opportunity for audience participation in some taste experiments.

Dr Barham, one of the pioneers of the new science of Molecular Gastronomy, has collaborated with Heston Blumenthal (chef proprietor of the Fat Duck). He is the author of 'The Science of Cooking', and a regular contributor to national newspapers and radio. He has appeared on TV, and was recently scientific adviser and major contributor to the series 'Kitchen Chemistry' (Discovery Channel).

The lecture is targeted at anyone interested in food and science. Suitable for families (children age 12+).

Free admission. N.B. No tickets - so come early to get a good seat. Doors open at 18:30. Please advise us if you intend to bring a group (six people or more).

N.B. The SCI Cambridge & Great Eastern Section will be holding its AGM before this event at 6:30pm. All are welcome to attend.


Prof Peter Barham | talks | www


Date and Time:

26 April 2006 at 7:00 pm


1 hour



Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Lensfield Road
01223 336300
Show map

Organised by:

Society of Chemical Industry (Cambridge & Great Eastern Section)
See other talks organised by Society of Chemical Industry (Cambridge & Great Eastern Section)...




Available from:

John Wilkins, Hon Secretary, SCI Cambridge & Great Eastern Section. john.wilkins@insense.co.uk

Additional Information:

See http://www.soci.org/SCI/events/details.jsp?eventID=EV757
for updated details for this event.

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