December 3, 2013 A cookie in the oven almost looks like a monster coming alive. It bulges out, triples in size and then stiffens into a crisp biscuit. So how does an oven turn raw dough into a delight? A new animation explains the chemistry behind great baking so you, too, can unleash your inner mad scientist in the kitchen.
October 9, 2013 Over the past six years, an estimated 130 new apple varieties have hit markets around the globe. And behind every crisp, tasty bite, there's a world of plant breeding — and decades of painful trial and error.
October 1, 2013 If you've always wanted to take a course at Harvard or with America's most talented chefs, but you didn't have the money, discipline or grades, now's your chance. The best part of this free online class: You can eat your lab experiments.
September 3, 2013 The world's most expensive coffee can cost $600 a pound, and it comes from — there's no delicate way to put it — civet poop. But how do you know if what you're shelling out for is the real deal? Chemists have come up with the world's first cat poop coffee test.
August 6, 2013 Grapes that taste like cotton candy? No, it's not a GMO experiment but rather the result of good old-fashioned plant-breeding techniques. One scientist has already brought these sweet treats to the market and hopes our grape choices will one day be as varied as our apple choices.
July 17, 2013 If you think deep yellow yolks are an indicator of higher nutritional value in eggs, think again, scientists say. Egg yolks come in a rainbow of colors — from pale white to red orange or pink. They may look strange, but they're still good for you.
July 10, 2013 When Twinkies hit the stores again on July 15, their shelf life will be nearly twice as long as it used to be: 45 days. (We were surprised it wasn't longer.) There's a whole lot of food science employed to help the creme-filled cake defy the laws of baked-good longevity.
April 17, 2013 The days of made-to-order ice cream are far from over in San Francisco. A small shop that operates out of an old shipping container uses liquid nitrogen to freeze ingredients together in about a minute for an ultra-fresh, ultra-smooth treat.
March 21, 2013 With a high-tech gadget, scientists can measure how much flavor is released from foods while we're eating. One British chef uses the device to figure out why we love to dip biscuits into tea. A quick plunge really does make the cookie yummier.
December 6, 2012 Although we can usually smell when food goes bad, humans just don't have the fruit fly's direct path from nose to brain that alerts it to food poison. But the detection of this pathway could someday lead to more research that could help us develop better bug repellants.
August 30, 2012 Researchers have conducted the first scientific analysis of nutrients in trendy seedlings known as microgreens. They found that most microgreens have higher levels of nutrients than their mature counterparts.
April 3, 2012 As recent food mislabeling scandals show, a food's true identity and origin often get lost along the supply chain. Enter the "optical stable isotope analyzer," a device that could provide a lot more certainty about a product near the end of its long journey to the consumer.
March 21, 2012 Joe Palca told his sister, a baker in Brooklyn, N.Y., about a way to make sourdough bread using "wild" yeast starter. But she had a problem: It was sourer than she liked. Was there any way to wrestle it back from its acrid extremes?