Lasagna is wonderful, but so is chemistry; therein lies the dilemma of people with passions for both science and food. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to combine science with food that can even lead to lucrative careers. Finding out how best to combine science with food is a task filled with creative and even delicious possibilities.
What many do not realize is that cooking is a type of science. Based on chemical reactions in combination, the often-called “art” of cooking is actually a lot closer to chemistry than to painting. A variety of career possibilities lay down the path of combining science with food.
For those who love to experiment, creating and testing recipes for packaged food companies is one way to combine science with food. Understanding the reaction of ingredients to heat, cold, microwaves, and storage is vitally important to creating tasty, pre-packaged food for people on the go. As global food becomes more popular, research and development chefs must also discover ways to convert new and exotic recipes into frozen entrees and ready-to-go snacks. Although working for a large corporation can be exciting, nothing prevents the brave experimental chef from starting a new company, too.
Those with a love of cool-looking science may end up at the forefront of culinary innovation. Tech-chefs, as they are sometimes called, are renowned for their ability to use unique science-based preparation techniques to produce delicious meals that look as though they might have been beamed down from aliens. Creating flavored foams, freezing ice cream instantly with liquid nitrogen, and injecting flavor into meats with syringes are all examples of a tech-chef's skill in combining science with food. For those who would rather create a hi-tech cocktail using scientific principles, the field of molecular mixology has jumped into being requiring equal mastery of liquid concoctions and chemistry.
For those interested in medical science, learning to combine food with science can become a rewarding career that even saves lives. Nutritionists specialize in creating healthy diets that allow humans to maintain a healthy weight and receive all necessary nutrition. These food scientists are behind classic nutritional concepts like the food pyramid and recommended daily allowances. By educating the public about healthy food choices, nutritional experts do their part to create a healthy, happy public.
Combining food with science can also be a great way to teach children about both areas. School teachers have a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about basic scientific principles and nutrition by performing food-related experiments, such as the old soda-will-dissolve-teeth trick. Creating exciting and informative experiments may also inspire young minds to develop their own food and science passions, thereby securing the future of food innovation.