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Food Chemistry

How is decaffeinated coffee made? The chemistry of coffee decaffeination

Caffeine is a stimulant, and the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Many of us need our morning coffee to be functional, but others prefer to avoid caffeine due to its effects on sleep, restlessness, or pregnancy. Handily, chemists have come up with several ways for us to enjoy coffee without the caffeine. Here, we […]

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Food Chemistry

The chemistry of aubergine (eggplant) colour, bitterness and browning

The aubergine (or eggplant) is a fascinating fruit. And yes, you read that correctly – the aubergine is technically a fruit, not a vegetable. If you’ve ever wondered why they soak up oil like a sponge, and rapidly brown when cut, read on!

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Biochemistry Food Chemistry

The chemistry of spinach: the iron myth and ‘spinach teeth’

“Spinach is a good source of iron” – a myth, but a surprisingly persistent one. The story behind the myth and the chemistry that debunks it are fascinating. Here we look at both, as well as the chemical explanation behind the ‘spinach teeth’ phenomenon.

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Food Chemistry

Why is milk white? The chemistry of milk

  Yesterday, June 1, was World Milk Day. If you’re only learning this now and you’re disappointed at missing the opportunity to celebrate your love of all things milk, good news: there’s still time to learn about its chemistry! Chemistry can help answer a number of questions about milk, including why it’s white, and why […]

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Biochemistry Food Chemistry

What makes eggs glow under UV light?

Here’s something to try over the Easter weekend: take a UV light and shine it on some eggs. You’ll be rewarded with a red glow from their shells. What causes this red glow? That’s what this graphic looks at!

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Food Chemistry

The flavour chemistry of your Thanksgiving turkey

Got the turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving? Here’s a brief look at the chemical compounds behind its flavour. There’s more on the reactions that produce these compounds in this graphic on the Maillard reaction. If you’re celebrating, happy Thanksgiving!