Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spice Rack!

Happy holidays everyone!

I hope you're enjoying your break after Fall semester. I stumbled this product a few weeks ago and I had to share! Feel more like a scientist in your kitchen while having easy access to all your spices!

- Charles Quinto

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Use Science to Improve Your Cookies!

One of my favorite food bloggers, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats, has done a fantastic article about the science of cookies, specifically those of the chocolatus chipis species. He covers everything from the difference between using melted and creamed butter to egg yolks vs. egg whites to dough temperature and everything else in between. You can find the original article here along with a recipe but in order to get you into the kitchen faster, I present to you the condensed version:

Do not replace butter with other fats (eg. shortening, margarine, lard). The proteins in butter are essential to the flavors in your dough.

Melted butter will produce denser cookies while creamed butter will make cakier cookies.

Cookies made with browned butter will come out softer because of less gluten development. However this may cause it to break more easily.

A higher proportion of egg white to egg yolk will result in a taller cookie while a higher egg yolk to egg white ratio will result in a more dense, brownie-like cookie.

White sugar is pure crystallized sucrose. Brown sugar is mostly sucrose, but also contains glucose and fructose (more hygroscopic than sucrose) with trace minerals that give it flavor and a slightly acidic pH.

Cookies made with 100% white or 100% brown sugar

Cookies made with slightly acidic brown sugar cause them to rise more and spread less because the brown sugar reacts with baking soda (a base) to make bubbles that provide lift. Cookies made with white sugar do not leaven, but they are more crisp because sucrose does not hold water molecules as well as glucose and fructose.

Incorporate your chocolate chips halfway through the wet-dry mixing process to avoid over-mixing your dough. Excess kneading causes more gluten formation which can produce tough cookies.

Incorporating chocolate into dough that has been heated to 80 degrees F will allow some chocolate to melt, leaving chocolate trails in the cookie, while still leaving chunks intact to melt into pools of liquid delicious.

That $25 bottle of Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract is indistinguishable from imitation vanilla flavor.

Baking your cookies at a lower temperature will result in more spreading and more even cooking. But don't go too low, otherwise there will be not textural contrast between the edges and the center.

Leaving dough in the refrigerator overnight will allow time for flour proteins and starches to breakdown and rearrange so that your cookies have a richer flavor and more better browning.

Cookies rested for four hours and two days before baking

All photos: Serious Eats

Sunday, December 8, 2013

FOODucation: Cookie Chemistry!

Hey everyone,

The weekend is drawing to a close and finals begin tomorrow! I hope you've all been making some great progress studying, and if not, there's still time! Though this is probably covered in Food Chemistry, here's some interesting information on the chemistry of baking cookies!

I've included a video that's more informative than this post and it includes some cool animation! If you don't have the time to watch the video or you don't want to be tempted with yet another holiday sweet treat, I've summarized a few key points about the video!


  • The egg is what holds the batter together during the cooking process to prevent it from expanding into neighboring cookies (though that just means a larger cookie if it does!). As the temperature increases, proteins in the egg(s) denature becoming tangled to create a solid network providing structure to the cookie
  • At 212 F the water in the dough becomes steam and is part of the reason why the cookies rise
  • Baking soda/powder break down carbon to produce carbon dioxide to puff up the cookie by leaving holes making it lighter
  • Caramelization! Sugars break down to become a nice brown, fragrant liquid full of taste and aroma!
  • Maillard reaction! Involves sugars, egg protein and flour to produce that toasty flavor and nice brown color (mmmmm delicious!)

Want more info? Here are some tips to alter your cookie (more chemistry is given in the article/video)
  • Melted butter in raw dough makes the cookie flatter, wider and more chewy
  • Cold butter chunks in dough makes the cookie lighter and more fluffy
  • Baking powder in place of baking soda makes the cookie more fluffy
  • Dark sugars increase the cookie flavor and aroma

Here's the full article:

Best of luck this week!
- Charles Quinto

Friday, December 6, 2013

Food for Thought: Moon Turnips!

Hey everyone! 

Finals week is just a few days away so I hope you're all gearing up to hit the books and finish the semester strong! Try and get some sleep and adequate nutrition to make sure you have the energy to get through the next week!

Speaking of nutrition, did anyone ever try those dehydrated space foods? Well here's a big step forward! NASA is currently working on growing cress, turnips and basil on the moon! In order to withstand radiation, atmospheric conditions, extreme temperatures, and gravity differences, NASA is developing a terrarium to support growth of produce. The hope is that even astronauts will one day be able to consume local, farmed fresh veggies similar to we do here on Earth! Whether or not NASA succeeds with their first trial this marks a big moment in history as "this will be the very first life science experiment performed in deep space," according to Bob Bowman, a plant scientist. 

A 3-D printed model of the canister.
This is a canister that will be deployed in 2015 with a commercial spacecraft known as the Moon Express lander. This canister will create a habit that allows germination and growth of the contained seeds by providing nutrient-rich paper, air, water and regulators for light and temperature. The growth of the plants will be monitored over a period of 5-10 days using cameras.

Good luck on finals everyone!
- Charles Quinto

P.S. For those interested in reading the full article it's available here:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Food for Thought: Calories Influence Eating Habits

Hey everyone,

Thanksgiving is next week and it typically signifies the start of the holiday season! I can't speak for anyone else but this is also the time I indulge in the over abundance of available food. No shame.

A study done in Yale showed that the caloric value of a food item affects eating behavior independently of how much the food itself is enjoyed! Our brain associates flavors with a caloric value and over time we have a preference for this flavor due to "flavor-nutrient conditioning" versus the actual flavor itself. Test subjects were given flavored beverages deficient in calories. After a set period, unflavored calories were added to the beverages. At the end of the taste test, the researchers observed an increased rating for flavors containing the added calories. 

Additional experiments completed found that the metabolic response to the consumption of glucose controlled responses involved with cues that signal calories. Maybe that is why we "love" food that is "bad" for us, because these items typically are overloaded with calories.

Here is the original post:

Here is the full published research article:

- Charles Quinto

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recipes: Now Serving, Butterbeer!

What is butterbeer you ask? Well for those of you who are not familiar with the Harry Potter book series, it's a drink that is supposed to warm you up and can be purchased in the fictional town of Hogsmead. However, Hogwarts and Hogsmeade were created in a physical form in Universal Orlando! For those of us that can't afford to fly to Florida just to try a drink, you can customize a drink at Starbucks and get it locally!

Here are the two ways to order your very own butterbeer replica thanks to a posting on slashfilm.com! Enjoy!

Frappucino Version:
  • A Creme Frappuccino base. Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2% milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency.
  • Add 3 pumps of caramel syrup.
  • Add 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup.
  • Top with caramel drizzle

Hot Version:
  • Whole milk steamer
  • Add caramel syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Add toffee nut syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Add cinnamon dolce syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Whipped cream and salted caramel bits on top
  • Optional if you prefer to add a coffee taste: Add a shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)

Have a good weekend!
- Charles Quinto

Monday, November 4, 2013

Food for Thought: More Pork, Hold the Antibiotics

Hey everyone,

It's November! Today's article is about pigs and antibiotics! As you may know, one of the problems we are facing with foodborne illness is the antibiotic resistance the bacteria exhibit. This is largely due to the use of antibiotics in farms. What you may not know is that feeding animals small amounts of antibiotics actually correlated with increased growth rate which is part of the reason they were used in the first place!

Steve Dritz, a specialist in swine nutrition at Kansas State University, explains that 60 years ago there was a a trend between increased growth rate of animals and the consumption of antibiotics. Observed effects showed 12-15% increased growth with antibiotics with the added benefit of requiring less feed in order to reach full weight! Over time, additional studies performed observed similar growth-promotion with the introduction of antibiotics.

Dritz says that in the 1990s, pork production changed dramatically. Instead of pigs being born and raised in the same barn or barns within a close location,  pigs were now born in one location and moved to a new site. In previous years, pigs would develop in areas with a high risk of infections spreading from one generation to the next. The new regulation ensured that the piglets were growing in a clean area free of disease. Groups of pigs brought onto one site are kept together without mixing pigs from other groups. The regulations are so strict that even workers moving between groups must change their boots to prevent any transmission of infectious diseases.

Post implementation of the new farming standards, pigs began to grow at the same rate as seen with antibiotics. Dritz carrried out experiments and found that the effect of antibiotics on growth were no longer as high as in the past. Though it is thought that the reduction of disease and good hygiene are responsible for the increased growth rate, no definitive conclusions have been made. 

What is clear is that pigs can grow just as quickly without antibiotics with the decreased risk of organisms becoming resistant to drugs we may need to treat illnesses. However, change is slow and not all farmers have taken Dritz' advice nor were they all convinced with the evidence presented. Unfortunately it's difficult to fight against a large population's perception, especially one that has been instilled for such a long time.

With time, hopefully change will occur and we can move towards more natural ways of raising animals that are better.

Here's the article from NPR.

Thanks for reading!
- Charles Quinto

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FOODucation: Foods That Could Kill You

Pop quiz! Of the following, which does not belong? Cherries, Apricots, Plums, Peaches, Cyanide?
If you guessed Cyanide, I'm sorry to say that is incorrect. Actually, they all belong!

Today's post is about educating the lethality of common foods!! AHH!!! Now there's a real Halloween scare! Bon Appetit not only provides great recipes, but they also have some interesting articles, one of them is entitled "8 Foods That Could Kill You (If You Eat Enough of Them)."

Cherries, Apricots, Plums, Peaches: Cyanide
Stone Fruits: Cherries, Apricots, Plums, Peaches
Some stone fruit contain cyanogenic compounds. For example, swallowing a cherry pit is not a problem, unless it happens to be broken. A single cherry yields about 0.17g of cyanide per gram of seed which does not seem like much, but 0.1g of hydrogen cyanide is enough to put a 150-lb human down for the count. So I'd advise you take the extra few seconds it takes to spit out the seed instead of swallowing it!

Rice: Arsenic
It would appear there is another hit against sushi. Brown rice has the highest amounts of arsenic, a toxin that may cause vomiting and abdominal pain in large amounts. The good news is that it is quite difficult to consume enough rice in one sitting to produce any harmful effects.....the bad news is that over time, consistent exposure to the toxin increases changes of heart disease and bladder cancer. The FDA states there is 2.6-7.2 micrograms of inorganic arsenic in one serving of rice and it takes about 50g of arsenic to cause death in a 150-lb individual. So unless you intend to consume 1800 cups of rice in a single evening, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Rhubarb: Oxalic Acid
Pie anyone? The leaves of this plant contains oxalic acid, a chemical found in bleach and anti-rust products! Although eating the leaves can causing burning sensations, and cooking doesn't get rid of the chemical, the good news is that it would take a 130-lb person to eat 10lbs of the leaves to show symptoms of poisoning.

Potatoes: Solanine
Not the french fries!!! Green potatoes contain concentrated amounts of solanine, a natural pesticide. Poisoning leads to vomiting, diarrhea and even cardiac arrest. To show symptoms it would take a 100-lb adult to consume a full pound of completely green potatoes.

Apples and Pears: More Cyanide
Apples and Pears
Cyanide, revisited! Dun dun dun! Yet again the seeds are the culprit behind potential cyanide poisoning. Apple seeds contain about 700mg of hydrogen cyanide per kg translating into about a 1/4 lb of seeds or 25 apple cores in one sitting....I guess this wouldn't keep the doctor away..

All photos and information were taken from this article:

Stay healthy and safe everyone!
- Charles Quinto

Monday, October 28, 2013

Funday Monday Links

Worried about a beer belly? Find out if calories from alcohol really count.

Thank you microscopes, for letting us look at stuff super up close.

Have you ever been in an interview where the interviewer asked you, "So do you have any questions for me?" and you didn't know what to say? Problem solved.

Speaking of interviews... Men, if you're going to wear a suit to an interview, PLEASE make sure it fits right. Tailoring makes a world of a difference!

If you want to start composting your food scraps but don't know where to start or what to put in it? Here's a simple infographic that can help.

Confessions of scientists. I am definitely guilty of a few of these..

And finally, Sail by Awolnation played on a Tesla coil:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Food for Thought: Food Day

Hey everyone!

October 24th is Food Day! What is food day? "It's a nationwide celebration and movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food." The aim of Food Day is to bring awareness to consumers and promote a better diet.

Want to take part? Go to the Agyros Forum for some great events!
Health Fair 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Come talk to local farmers, Sodexo and even students in the food product development class!
You may even get the chance to taste some new products!
Cooking Demo (FREE FOOD!) 1pm - 2pm
Hosted by Chef James Douglas!

Learn more about Food Day because there's so much more than I can fit in this blog post!
There's a link below to find all the information about it!

There is also a Food Literacy Quiz that has some interesting facts such as:
- Adding water to plants is still considered damaging to the ecosystem because it is non-rain water and therefore not a natural event!
- It takes about 3 gal of water to produce one serving of lettuce versus 500 gal to produce one serving of a typical hamburger
- Americans waste 40% of the U.S. food supply, or about 20lbs of food per person per month!
- Honeybees are responsible for pollinating about 1/3 of the entire food supply in the U.S.
- For every $1 spent on food, only about 11 cents ends up going back to the farmer
- 95% of the world's total oyster consumption is sourced from sustainable farming operations

Lastly, Food Day is partnering with Rouxbe Online Cooking School so they're allowing supporters and participants with a FREE 30-day pass to the online cooking school! So if you're interested you MUST SIGN UP ON FOOD DAYhttp://www.foodday.org/unleash_your_inner_cook_on_food_day_blog

Learn about Food Day at:

- Charles Quinto

Monday, October 21, 2013

FOODucation: Scratch and Sniff Wine Guide

Hey everyone!

Have you ever wanted to improve your knowledge about wine? Well now you can with this scratch and sniff guide book! Richard Betts has put together a short illustrated guide that is catered towards any individual interested in wine. He increases the accessibility of the information by simplifying concepts and language. So dive right in, scratch and sniff to your hearts content to smell the aroma of various fruits and odors!

Here's a link to the original article:

And another in case you're interested in purchasing it, it's only $11.99!

Have a great week!

- Charles Quinto

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ask Alton Anything

 Alton Brown is on his Edible Inevitable Tour, and this weekend he will be in Cerritos with his cow:

Image: Alton Brown

I stumbled upon an Ask Me Anything he hosted on Reddit about 4 months ago and to gear up for the show, here are some highlights of the thread.

Redditor: Is there anyone within the Food Network confines that you could not/cannot stand?
Alton Brown: Hell yes

R: Have you considered bringing something like good eats to a webisode format?
AB: Yes...in fact, we're doing that right now.

R: What do you make for dinner after a long tiring day at work?
AB: reservations

R: What is the one food that Food Network would not let you make an episode of Good Eats about, that you wanted to do the most?
AB: Food Network has always been very supportive of me and they've let me get away with a lot but when I said "sweetbreads" they said "no." Same with rabbit.

R: What did you think of the south park episode "Creme Fraiche"
AB: Pinacle of comedic genius. Though i would never rub a pork loin with butter.

R: You appear on several shows (Iron Chef America, Next Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star) as the food guru. Have you ever wanted a role as a competitor? Do you ever hang out with other Food Network stars? If so, what do you do? If not, what do you do for fun?
AB:I have no desire to compete...I'm just not that kind of guy...not that way at least. I don't hang out with Food Network stars because, well...I don't really fit in with the big "A" list stars and the young folk think I'm old. So, I'm kinda on a "C" list all by myself, which is perfectly fine.
As for fun...I'll get back to you.

 R: Where do you buy your bow ties at?
AB: All over. In fact I have a line of bow ties coming out with a great company called Hook & Albert.

R: Who is your favorite Iron Chef?
AB: The one who brings me a cocktail during the battle.

R: What is the strangest food you've ever made/ate?
AB: Curried lamb eyes [shudders]

R: What did you think about going to the strip club with Anthony Bourdain?
AB: If I had a time machine....I would so take that one back. I've never been more uncomfortable in my life.

R: I hope you have the slightest inkling of how many nerds you have gotten laid because they learned how to cook because of you.
AB: Pretty freakin awesome ain't it.

R: Im defending my PhD in chemistry next year. Partially thanks to you AB.
AB: Defending? Is someone trying to steal it?

R: What do you think of the recent Amy's Baking Company issue?
(funny and sad and...well)

 R: Last meal. Death row. What's it gonna be?
AB: Duck confit because it takes 3 days to make.

R: If it were possible, would you ever want to cook in space for the astronauts on the ISS?
AB: To cook in space is my dream...absolute dream.

R: Is there any food trend going on that just makes you roll your eyes?
AB: I don't understand the whole "raw" thing. I'm pretty sure that learning to use fire gave us the ability to seriously up our dietary game and made us what we are...apex predators on planet Earth.

 R: Alton, you are one sexy, smart man, and I just want to say, keep doing what you do. Muah!
AB: Thanks. I hope your eyes get better soon. (Don't scratch them till the pads come off).

R: How did you come up with the idea for Good Eats?
AB: Just staring at the wall actually.

R: Can you tell us a little bit about what you plan to do on tour?
AB: Live food songs...outrageous food demos, puppets, multi media presentations...puppets, Q+A. Ponchos.

R: Ever been fired from a cooking gig?
AB: Nope...fired though from a bus boy job because I was underage.

R: Who would win in a fist fight to the death, bobby flay or Guy fieri
AB: Bobby Flay, hands down. Dude is tough, wiry, determined. No contest.

R: Alton would you tell us briefly about your faith and how that has impacted your career?
AB: I'm a Christian. It impacts everything.

R: How do you typically deal with fans on the street? I saw you in soho a few years ago and you were incredibly dismissive of anyone who approached you.
AB: I don't think that's true. First off I usually don't notice when someone approaches me because I tend to be a bit of a goof. But I have never ever blown off a fan in the street...ever. If I'm with my family I may move fast but I've never been dismissive. I'm calling you out on this.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Food for Thought: Peanut Butter & Alzheimer's Disease

Hey Everyone,

Fall is definitely here if you couldn't tell from the chilly temperatures and the pumpkin themed flavors and aromas everywhere! I personally love the smell of the traditional pumpkin spices used - the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger...all of it! Speaking of scents, did you know that patients with Alzheimer's have an altered sense of smell with their left nostril being significantly more impaired than the right!?

It turns out that the ability to smell is one of the first sense affected over the course of cognitive decline due to its association with the first cranial nerve. The University of Florida has been studying smell sensitivity using peanut butter! Generally, our sense of smell uses two distinct sensations: the olfactory sense and the trigeminal sense. Peanut butter was chosen because it is "a pure odorant that is only detected by the olfactory nerve."

Normal clinical diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's take weeks to receive confirmatory results so preliminary tests with immediate results such as the peanut butter test could be beneficial. The article describes the method used to test each individual's ability to smell peanut butter and is posted below. Check it out! It even has a short video.

Here is a link (with a video!) to the University of Florida's Newspage:

Here is a 2nd article link:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Funday Monday Links

This could be a useful for Product Development. Serious Eats has started a thread about which words should never be used to describe food. Top offenders include "moist," "sexy," "unctuous," and "crusty."

Looks like Kellogg's, Smuckers, General Mills, and Hersey's are going to have a good year.

A food issue close to my heart: food date labels. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic teamed up and wrote a report about the ridiculousness of words such as "best by," "use before," and "enjoy by." It's a long read, but you can learn how these labels contribute to food waste which is a bigger issue than most people realize.

Some science-y GIFs that will make you want to buy a bunch of chemicals. I personally love the ferrofluid.

The difference between baking soda and baking powder, as told by Joy the Baker.

From Scratch: Inside the Food Network is a recently-published book that covers the recipe behind the Food Network. While it doesn't contain a ton of dirty little secrets, the book covers how they went from a tiny start-up to one of the most influential businesses in America. Okay, maybe a few dirty little secrets, like how 9/11 gave them a huge popularity boost...

Friday, October 4, 2013

FOODucation: FOODucate Yourself!

Hey Everyone,

So a friend of mine recently informed me of this opportunity to learn about the science behind recipes created by chefs themselves! It's an online class BUT it's completely FREE and you can audit the course so you DON'T HAVE TO COMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS OR TAKE EXAMS. It's simply a course offered to educate those seeking information.

The class starts Oct. 8th and while I know we are all busy with our current responsibilities such as work, life at home, classes, etc don't let that stop you from learning something you're passionate about! It's rare we get the opportunity to take a class for FREE let alone get a FREE PASS on assignments.

Take advantage of this course, it's called "Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. The topics include emulsions, elasticity, and spherification among other innovative techniques! The class encourages you to be "an experimental scientist in your very own laboratory - your kitchen."

Check out the website:

Happy Friday!
- Charles Quinto

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Food for Thought: Tomato + Potato = TomTato!!

Lo and behold, the TomTato!

Hey everyone,

To get you through the midweek grind, I offer you a Frankenplant in celebration of Halloween!! As NPR has pointed out, your fries AND ketchup now come in one complete package!What is awesome about this plant is that it grows potatoes in the soil and above ground are tomatoes that are sweeter than those on the market right now! (At least that's what they say). What's even more exciting is that it is not a genetically modified product!!

A UK company known as Thompson and Morgan has grafted (spliced the stems of both the tomato and potato plant and allowed them to heal) the two crops to grow as one! The director Paul Hansord explained that it's difficult to achieve grafting as the stem needs to be the same thickness, but they managed to pull it off after 15 years! The fruits of their labor is actually, well a fruit! Partly anyway...

Here's a link to a short video made by Tompson and Morgan on the plant, check it out!

In addition, here are a couple articles I used to summarize the information for you guys!

- Charles Quinto

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

EVENT: SoCal Creative Food Summit!!

Hey everyone!

I hope you're all enjoying the Fall weather, it's the first day of October! I'll keep this short and sweet, this weekend Oct. 5th & 6th there is a creative food summit in Costa Mesa! It's part of the Patchwork Show, edible edition.

"patchwork show: edible edition is an annual creative food summit in southern california bringing visionary chefs, authors, bloggers, handmade craft vendors and food artisans together with attendees for two days of eating, learning, tasting and shopping."

The event is FREE and you can attend cooking demos, lectures and even get some HANDS ON cooking experience and it's STILL FREE! If you want to be more involved and see how these events are run you can also volunteer and as a thank you, receive "cool swag and a free lunch!"

Check out the site for details

Have a good week!
- Charles Quinto

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We're Famous! (Sort Of)

Along with its usual articles, the September issue of Food Technology contained recap of everything that happened at the AMFE in Chicago this summer. The segment included poster presentations, professional development sessions, and award ceremonies. Speaking of award ceremonies, on page 33 of the magazine is Chapman's own Jessica Hallstrom, receiving a Poppy award from John Ruff for first place in the video competition!

She was also mentioned on page 122 along with Crystal Lin, Karen Thang, Natasha Quailes, Amber Skaretka and myself for leading Food Science 101, the fist program in Feeding Tomorrow's initiative to foster interest in food science careers. The photo on the left shows some of the girls who were sponsored to attend the AMFE, and the photo on the right was taken in June when we showed them how you can make ice cream quickly with liquid nitrogen!

Click for larger view.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Food Matters

Science-focused news website Scientific American devotes part of its content to Food Matters, a blog that combines food, science, and politics. It covers everything from the bacteria in our bodies, astronaut nutrition, USDA food guidelines, and the relationship between sound and taste. Check it out!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Food for Thought: Blue Eggs

Around Easter you may see pastel colored eggs or even wacky colored ones! But if you come across blue eggs from chicken breeds from Chile or China guess what? It has a retrovirus!!!!!

Apparently "Araucana, a chicken breed from Chile, and Dongxiang and Lushi chickens in China lay blue eggs." The blue eggshell color is controlled by an autosomal dominant gene SLCO1B3 mapped to a part of chromosome 1. An avian retrovirus EAV-HP is inserted upstream of the gene and in different locations in the various breeds. It is thought that this came about independently of each other, but after its appearance, was selectively bred to continue the production of blue eggs.

Check out the original article posted on a virology blog here:

To support it, here is a scientific article:

Have a great week!

- Charles Quinto

Friday, September 13, 2013

FOODucation: Cacao

Hey everyone,

Happy Friday!! Patricia Tsai is a chocolate maker who recently opened ChocoVivo in Culver City. She has her own supplier of cacao beans and uses the age old tradition of stone grinding cacao beans to produce chocolate products. Nothing in her store contains milk powder, soy lecithin, or additional cacao butter meaning all her food items are as natural as possible.

Given that National Chocolate Milkshake day was yesterday, September 12, it seems appropriate Patricia is hosting "Frozen Hot Chocolate Nights" through this weekend only (September 12 - 15). If you're interested in checking it out send an RSVP to info@chocovivo.com with the Subject: "Frozen Hot Choco." It costs $20 BUT you get to try the following four items: 75% Cacao, Shangri-La (black sesame + goji berries), Mayan Tradition (Cinnamon + Spicy), Coffee + Vanilla Bean all topped with Organic Strauss Creamery Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!

Here's the link to her website and more info.

Now for the FOODucation! (information based on her website and Ted Talk)

Patrica was on Tedx where she discussed the bitter side of cacao and her journey as a chocolate maker. As with most crops, they have specific environments with which they can grow. Since the cacao bean can only grow 20 degrees North and South of the equator, 70-80% come from Africa. Unfortunately large companies dominating the chocolate industry take advantage of this, without naming businesses and just knowing a few things, it's easy to see why Patricia is an artisan chocolate maker. In Africa, child slavery remains an issue and often times children are sold as slaves to carry bags of cacaos until there are visible signs of injury such as open wounds. (more info on this inhumane labor found here, http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-in-the-chocolate-industry/)

Unwilling to compromise her morals, she cares about the way the beans are sourced, the way it is processed and how she can give back to the community. She took the time, 5 years to be exact, to get to know her cacao supplier and understand the process. Patricia wants her customers to understand how she gets her beans and how it is processed to make her products.

ChocoVivo uses techniques that were once practiced by the Mayans and Aztecs, stone grinding. The heat generated by the stone grinding heat and melt the natural cacao butter creating a paste. The outcome is a pure product that has not been adulterated. One of the chocolate bars she produces only has four ingredients: cacao nibs, unrefined cane sugar, black sesame and goji berries.

The result of Patricia's hard work and dedication to chocolate is a business that produces quality products while still being socially conscious.

If you want to watch the Ted Talk here's a link!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Funday Monday Links!

A lengthy but well-written article regarding the truth about MSG. A good read for those who are skeptical about the additive.

The perfect example of combining cooking with science.The International Culinary Center's blog, Cooking Issues, covers the latest cooking techniques, ingredients, and equipment and also provides recipes. The ingredient list uses the metric system, so you know it's legit science.

From the NY Times, the work it takes to create the perfect tomato. Getting the right balance between flavor, texture, and the right amount of sweetness is harder than it sounds.

Speaking of tomatoes, the history of ketchup and the Heinz bottle. Fun fact: when flowing naturally, it travels 147 feet per hour.

Want to know what ingredients to pair together? Use this interactive flavor map!

And finally, EGGCEPTION.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Food for Thought: Cookie Dunking Science

Hey Everyone,

Here we go heading into another week of the semester! It looks like the heat is finally easing up on us, phew! I read this article the other day, and some of you may have read it since it posted a few months ago, but for those who have not it's an interesting read!

It was posted on NPR and discusses the tradition of dunking cookies in drinks and whether or not there is a biochemical reaction causing it to taste better! Cutting to the chase for those who don't have time to read the entire article, a device known as the MS-Nose was developed at the University of Nottingham to conduct tests on the levels of flavor released! In the end, it is suggested that a flavor known as "methylbutanol" is increased when something such as a biscuit is dipped in tea! (Though I am curious if it is a result of the tea or if it's merely a result of the biscuit being broken up prior to consumption thereby increasing the amount of flavor binding to receptors...food for thought!)

Here's the article!

Unfortunately, the website of the company performing the test did not post any research article links, but it's still something interesting to read!

- Charles Quinto

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recipe: Cookie Mint Ice Cream

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! We're already halfway through the second week of the semester, the weekend is close by again! With the constant heat and humidity I've been trying out all sorts of ice cream recipes so I thought I'd share!

For a base I've found that the following recipe (adapted from David Lebovitz who also wrote a book!) is great! The original recipe does ask for egg yolks, but I've left them out (mainly because I left my thermometer with my parents and did not have it on hand) and the ice cream was still incredibly creamy - just make sure to churn it a bit longer and minimize the amount of water content through your additions to the base.

Ingredients (Adapted list, amount cut in half and removal of egg yolks)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 and 1/8 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh mint leaves (entire -pre-packaged container of organic mint)
Pinch of salt
6 Oreo cookies
Note: Base recipe taken from  http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/05/mint-chip-ice-cream-recipe-chocolate/

Mint Cookie Ice Cream Recipe
1. Warm milk, sugar, half of the heavy cream, salt and mint
2. Once the milk mixture is steaming, remove from heat, and cover for an hour
3. Strain mixture and mint into a bowl and remove excess liquid from leaves
4. Add remaining heavy cream and mix
5. Store base in fridge overnight and place container to store ice cream in freezer
6. Place mixture into ice cream maker and allow to churn
7. While ice cream churns, crush Oreo cookies into large chunks and toss into a mesh strainer to remove tiny cookie bits and chocolate powder (if you choose to keep them in, it may turn your ice cream base gray)
5. When the ice cream base has the consistency of soft serve yogurt (for my ice cream maker 10-15 minutes) add in the cookie pieces
6. When ice cream is ready, transfer to cold container (stored in the freezer) and freeze for a few hours

Additional Variations
Note: For these recipes the base would be slightly changed, but similar! Let me know if you are interested in any of them!
- Cookies and Cream with Brandy
- Black Sesame
- Chocolate Cake with Strawberries

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Message From Your Co-Vice President

Welcome, incoming students and welcome back, returning students! I hope you've had a great summer and are looking forward to the coming year. We have a lot of great activities and events planned for the next two semesters.

Our first official club event of the year will be next Friday, August 23rd, immediately after the Intro to Food Science orientation class ends. We're having a fundraising dinner at Ruby's Diner in Orange from 5:30-9:00 PM. Ruby's is within walking distance of campus (186 N Atchison St), so come join us for dinner, and bring the above flyer with you. Ruby's will donate 20% of your bill (excluding alcohol) to the Food Science and Nutrition Student Association! It's a great opportunity to get to know your classmates and professors and raise funds for our club's activities at the same time. Ruby's will ONLY donate a portion of your bill if you present this flyer, so please print it out and bring it with you, and make sure you present it when you pay! A reminder will be sent out next week just in case.

We will also have FSNSA t-shirts available for sale (cash only please) for $15 each. We look forward to seeing you there!

Jessica Hallstrom

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nominated for an Oscar Mayer

Along with his eyebrows, I inherited my dad's cheesy sense of humor. I love corny jokes, but I love stupid puns even more and Snack to the Future is a tumblr after my own heart. If you don't find the humor in these, just try imagine them if they were actually real movies. Some of my favorites:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Photos From the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo!

Highlights from this year's IFT AMFE! I hope you all had fun at the Expo and playing tourist in Chicago. Remember, you weren't sweating, you were glistening!

Thank you to Dr. Caporaso,Crystal Lin, and Jessica Hallstrom for contributing photos. If anyone else would  like me to post their photos on the blog, please email me at au102@mail.chapman.edu.

Saturday night dinner at Quartino with students, professors, and alumni

 Jessica receiving her Poppy Award for FIRST PLACE!

Team Captain Greg receiving a certificate for being finalists in the College Bowl competition

 CB Team assemble!

Hamburger University