Taking courses….Food Science and beyond

March 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm Leave a comment

Hi!  Needless to say, I’ve been off doing a lot of stuff these last few years.  It’s been hard to find my center after my mother passed but things are getting better.

Anyway, I’ve been taking on-line classes.  The first one I took was last summer on food science from Coursera.  It was interesting, for the most part, but not heavy weight.

On the other hand, the course on graphic novels was fun but intense.  My daughter who does amazing manga drawings was my inspiration.  I loved getting back in touch with classic American comics, updating my knowledge about today’s comics and graphic novels, and learning how to analyze graphic novels as literature, as well as, creating my own little comic.

Peaches Are Life30001wm

The picture to the left is the front page of my final project.

I didn’t expect the course to make me late for starting the Edx Gastronomy course on the Science of Food.  This was quite a step up from the Coursera course – with famous chefs and Harvard profs and Harold McGee.  (He’s a really nice man.  I remember pondering a question about pasta and wine and he took the time to answer me.)  While I wish I had reviewed my chemistry before taking the course, I enjoyed learning so much more.  My project was on the effect of fats on bread doughs and the PDF is here:

effects of fat 2014 v2

Basically, I first examined when the best time to add fat might be and then I performed an experiment where I varied the type of fat used and compared to a control condition with no fat.  I  measured weight, height, volume, and elasticity, using just the tools that I had at home.  The pictures are in the appendices but I’ve included a few here just to give you a flavor of the results:

sci-ex1comp10000

Left, I’m measuring compression for elasticity calculations.

Below is the result of the compression for Exp2…

sci-exp2results20000

Next I’m measuring volume with the displacement of rice…
sci-ex1vol10000

sci-exp2results10000

Left, the overall results.

Generally, I enjoyed learning new techniques and reviewing chemistry.  I have a renewed interest in going back to my food testing… and also taking more courses.  I’m hoping to create a graphic novel cookbook of recipes for my daughter over the next few years… wish me luck!

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Entry filed under: Baked goodies, Breads, Food.

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