What do you think of when you hear the phrase chemical reactions?
Explain, as if you were talking to a 5-year-old, what a chemical reaction is.
Chemical reactions are like magic! Just like when you mix blue and yellow paint to get green, chemicals can also mix together to make new things. When two or more chemicals come together, they can create a reaction that makes something completely different! Sometimes this means a lot of heat or bubbles or even explosions! It's important to be safe when doing chemical reactions and always have an adult around to help.
Do you think chemical reactions occur in the kitchen?
Also known as a browning reaction, the Maillard reaction occurs when proteins react with reducing sugars via high heat. The result? The appealing golden-brown color we know and love. This process draws out rich, hidden flavors.
The Maillard Reaction
Fermentation is the chemical process in which carbohydrate molecules break down without using oxygen — also known as anaerobically. Unlike many other food-based chemical reactions, fermentation does not require heat. Instead, living organisms are responsible for this age-old process. These microorganisms allow us to experience the joys of beer, wine, yogurt, kombucha, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, and certain cheeses.
Acids typically taste sour. ThinkL lemons, grapefruit, or pineapples. Some of the most common acidic foods used in cooking are tomatoes, vinegar, and lemons. Acids can help soften foods rich in proteins, such as tough or sinewy cuts of meat. A marinade containing tomatoes or lemon juice can tenderize the meat while also elevating the flavor. On the other end of the scale are bases or alkalines, which are capable of neutralizing acids. There are two main bases that are cooking staples: eggs and baking powder. These bases play a vital role in cooking, as they can react with acids to form gas bubbles that serve as leavening agents in the dough. Eggs and baking soda are important ingredients in baked goods, as they balance out the sour taste of acids and create the ideal consistency.
Using the internet, look up what other kinds of reactions can occur during cooking and type them here!
Tomorrow! We will be looking at these different types of reactions and testing them.