Categories
Food Chemistry

Polyphenols & Antioxidants – The Chemistry of Tea

After looking at the chemistry of coffee in the previous post, it seemed only fair to also consider the chemistry of tea, just so all the tea drinkers out there don’t feel left out. Much like coffee, tea contains a hugely wide variety of chemical compounds, but some of the most important in terms of […]

Categories
Food Chemistry

Why is Coffee Bitter? – The Chemistry of Coffee

Mention coffee, and caffeine is the chemical compound name that immediately springs to mind. However, whilst caffeine’s effects on the brain are well documented – it binds to adenosine receptors in the brain – it has relatively little impact when it comes to the taste of coffee. Coffee, as it turns out, is a cornucopia […]

Categories
Food Chemistry

The Chemistry of an Onion

The latest in the series of food chemistry graphics looks at the chemistry of onions – specifically, what causes their odour, and why chopping onions will make your eyes water. Interestingly, none of the compounds that cause these effects are present in the intact onion; rather, when the cell walls of the onion are damaged […]

Categories
Food Chemistry

Why Chilli Peppers are Spicy: The Chemistry of a Chilli

The idea for this graphic came to me whilst saving the chilli peppers from a forlorn looking, aphid-infested chilli plant that’s probably on its metaphorical last legs. I thought it would be quite interesting to look at the origin of the heat in chilli peppers, and how this can be quantified.