Entrepreneur Josh Tetrick founded Hampton Creek Foods last year to replace one of the most chemically complex ingredients in cuisine: the egg. According to the American Egg Board, eggs can serve 20 different functions in food, including aeration, binding, and thickening. Tetrick brought in food biochemist Johan Boot; their first product, a yellowish powder called Beyond Eggs, should be used in commercial cookies and muffins by the end of the year.
One of the most fascinating threads running through The Kitchen As Laboratory, a collection of essays edited by a trio of food scientists and published earlier this year, is the application of rigorous testing and measurement to a realm that has classically been very subjective. In the test pictured above, after egg yolks are poached at a constant temperature for a varying number of minutes, a rheometer is used to precisely measure the resulting texture, in pascal-seconds.
What happens when you hit a hard-boiled egg with a racquetball racquet? The tireless minds at PopSci set out to investigate, with a Phantom super-slow-motion HD camera and the intrepid (and, we found out, remarkably graceful) Stan Horaczek.
The 2011 StarChefs chefs' congress was a three-day whirl of culinary innovations, but one of the particular treats was getting to watch Andoni Luis Aduriz do his thing. The chef of Spain's Mugaritz restaurant has melded technology and cuisine in an unceasingly playful way, garnering stars and prizes that I won't bother to enumerate. At the congress, he walked a rapt audience through several of his clever preparations -- in particular, his use of silicone molds to create trompe-l'oeil dishes.
Critics of the selection that's often involved in assisted reproductive technology – picking a 5’10”, blond-haired, Ivy League grad egg donor, for example – say it turns conceiving a baby into a shopping exercise. It’s probably safe to venture, however, that none of the critics envisioned a day when we’d be bar-coding embryos.
Embryos of the red-eyed tree frog have developed an interesting strategy to survive on a patchy supply of oxygen. To permeate the normally oxygen-deficient eggs, oxygen must first pass through a strong outer membrane. But even though tiny hairs called cilia stir the fluid inside these quarter-inch-diameter eggs, most of the oxygen is near the eggs’ exposed surface.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.