Understanding flavour – the chemistry and language

I also really enjoyed these short segments on flavour from Radio National:

“Flavour: Mingled sensation of smell and taste. (NZOD) But according to flavour chemist Justin Bendall that’s an over-simplified definition. Flavour comprises taste, aroma, odour, pungency and mouthfeel. Amelia Nurse takes Justin to chef Ryan Tattersal’s restaurant Cobar in Days Bay to discuss these elements of taste and conduct related experiments on the unsuspecting Carol Davidson.

Part 1 – What is Flavour?
Aspects of flavour, how our other senses influence flavour, why you should always have white wine with seafood, the Garcia Effect – and an experiment with water, sugar and lemon. (9′48″)
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Part 2 – Pungency and Mouthfeel
Spicy food and how to counteract the burn when you overdo it, the Scoville Scale, a chilli tasting test, why we don’t put burgers in blenders, and tasting three versions of strawberries to see which is the most strawberry-ish. (10′23″)
Download: Ogg Vorbis  MP3 | Embed
Part 3 – Odour and Aroma
Volatile compounds, manufactured smell for emphasis, identifying dilute solutions, concentration versus potency, capsicum in Sauvignon Blanc and milk – and something called gas chromatography olfactometry. (10′10″)
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Part 4 – Taste
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, debunking the idea of primary tastes and tongue divisions, taste receptors, why we have 40 times more bitter receptors than sweet, why kids hate bitter tastes, how flavours influence each other, a tonic water experiment, shaking up flavour conventions – and looking bravely into the future of flavour. (10′00″)
Download: Ogg Vorbis  MP3 | Embed



About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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