Tag: science

Aroma Chemistry - The Smell of Coffee

The Chemical Compounds Behind the Aroma of Coffee

Infographic on the aroma of coffee. Roasted coffee beans contain over 1000 chemical compounds, but not all of these are extracted during brewing. Polar molecules are more soluble in water and a greater proportion of them are extracted. Only a minority of the extracted compounds contribute to aroma, and this is dependent on both their concentrations and the threshold at which the human nose can detect them. The aroma varies in composition for different coffee beans.
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Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or completely unfussy about the manner in which you get your caffeine fix, there’s no denying that the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning is an invigorating one. The chemistry behind this aroma, though, is far from simple; a complex collection of chemical compounds are responsible, and this graphic takes a look at a selection of these.

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Medicinal Chemistry - Common Components of Vaccines

A Summary of Common Vaccine Components

Medicinal Chemistry - Common Components of Vaccines Summary
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The recent measles outbreak in the US has once again provoked discussion over vaccinations, and why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children despite the benefits of doing so. Whilst not the only factor, part of the blame lies with misinformation about the chemical composition of vaccines and the effects these compounds can have. This graphic summarises some of the key components in vaccines, as well as clarifying their purpose and safety in the concentrations present.

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Analytical Chemistry - Infrared Spectroscopy

Analytical Chemistry – Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy

Analytical Chemistry - Infrared Spectroscopy
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I’ve been covering infrared spectroscopy recently with one of my A level classes, and realised that I haven’t really come across an aesthetically appealing reference chart for the frequencies of absorption – which seemed like as good an excuse as any to make one myself. So, here it is! Now, if you’re not a chemist, you may well be wondering what on earth IR spectroscopy is, so I’ve put together a brief explanation below.

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Food Chemistry - The Maillard Reaction

Food Chemistry – The Maillard Reaction

Food Chemistry - Maillard Reaction
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There’s one chemical reaction that, whether you have an interest in chemistry or not, we all carry out on a regular, maybe even daily, basis. That reaction? The Maillard Reaction. This is a process that takes place whenever you cook a range of foods – it’s responsible for the flavours in cooked meat, fried onions, roasted coffee, and toasted bread. The reaction’s name is a little deceptive, because it’s really an umbrella term for a number of reactions that can produce a complex range of products. The main stages, and some of the different classes of products, are summarised in this graphic.

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The Chemistry of Highlighter Colours

The Chemistry of Highlighter Colours

Chemistry of Highlighter Colours 2019
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If you’re currently a student, then you’ll no doubt often make ample use of highlighters during revision. Even if your studying days are far behind, you probably still use them from time to time. But what are the chemicals behind their luminous colours? This graphic looks at some of the possible dyes that can be used.

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Classes of Antidepressants Summary

Major Classes of Antidepressants

Major Classes of Antidepressants Summary
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You might have noted that yesterday was ‘Blue Monday’ – lauded as the most depressing day of the year. You might also be aware that Blue Monday was actually the construct of a Sky Travel marketing campaign several years ago, and is complete pseudoscience. Still, it seemed like as good an excuse as any to throw together this graphic, which looks at some of the different classes of antidepressants, and to discuss a little of how they work.

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