I made ScienceFix.com to share my favorite demos that I do in my middle school science classes.  

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Entries in food (2)


Food Science: Chocolate Pop Rocks

Two things I love: chocolate and science. This video shows you how to make chocolate pop rocks. Pop rocks was a crazy new candy when I was a kid. Put them in your mouth and let the crackling begin. Pop rocks is basically a mixture made when sugar and water are heated and then injected with carbon dioxide gas. The cooled mixture is the pop rocks. Put them into your mouth, the sugar disolves and the carbon dioxide gas gets released (the pop). Chocolate is a complex mixture of many ingredients, primarily sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk or milk powder (for milk chocolate), and vanilla. Chocolate can be melted and mixed in with other ingredients to make many different flavor combinations. Basically this demo shows how to properly melt (temper) milk chocolate and mix in flavorless pop rocks (called pastry rocks). The results are delicious pieces of chocolate that melt in your mouth which lead to a suprise crackling of the pastry rocks. Science topics that are covered include energy in phase changes, properties of mixtures, and crystalization (chocolate has to reach specific temperatures in the melting process so that cocoa butter crystals form evenly).  


Video Demo: Watermelon Caviar

I recently started a food science club at school with a fellow teacher.  It's a good way for me to try out new stuff with a small group of students, that I eventually want to incorporate into my classes.  It's like a real life R and D department.  I recently posted about a polymer called sodium alginate. I got a response from Earl Lee on how to make watermelon caviar. So I decided, let's try it out with an after school club.  It demonstrates a technique used in molecular gastronomy. A polymer (which is in one of our standards), sodium alginate, is mixed in with watermelon juice. The mixture is then carefully inserted, with a syringe, into a solution of calcium chloride. A chemical reaction happens between the calcium chloride and sodium alginate to form calcium alginate. The calcium alginate is not soluble in water and thus forms a gel around the outside of the watermelon juice. The calcium alginate watermelon spheres are edible. We then experimented with making spheres of cola using the same technique.  The students loved the more intense (not to mention the more sweet flavor which their palettes are more geared to) flavor of the cola.