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Molecular Gastronomy

Team Coordinator : Hervé THIS Printed : Oct. 2008

Research aims Molecular Gastronomy

1. Chemical transformations 2. Physical transformations

Find the mechanisms of phenomena occurring during
culinary transformations

1.1. Chemical modifications of plant or 2.1 Development of the CDS/NPOS

 Modelling of “definitions” and exploration of “culinary precisions” animal tissues during thermal processing formalism. In particular, investigation of the
relationship formula/activity, primarily based
 Exploring scientifically the “art” component of cooking on gel studies
1.2. Chemical modifications of animal or
Exploring scientifically the “social link” component of cooking plant tissues thermally treated in aqueous
solution (but also a chemical investigation 2.2. Research of molecular transfers during
of organic chemistry processes in water) culinary processes in animal and plant
tissues, in isolation or in aqueous solution
All these studies are accompanied by research on methods for fast (including NMR/CPMG studies of gel
analysis of complex systems, including chemometric methods. 1.3. Chemical modification of (hydrosoluble, systems)
hydrophobic) pigments during culinary

3.1 Matrix effects (bioactivity and changes of bioactivity during thermal processing),
studied mainly with two cases : methyl chavicol and pigments (investigation of
supramolecular associations)

The Team Other activities of the Team

Hervé This (IR, Pr, HDR) The Foundation Food Science & Culture (French Académy of sciences) : in order to coordinate cooking and
science programs :

Monthly INRA Séminars of Molecular Gastronomy : a free monthly meeting to explore culinary precisions
Marie-Claude Feore (Education Nationale) Invitations at .
Reports are displayed on the Internet site of the French Chemical Society :
Audrey Tardieu (PhD)
Aurore Poulteau (PhD) Courses on Molecular Gastrony at AgroParisTech: three levels, two days per level, topic changed every year
according to current research :
Blanca Escudero Lopez (Sevilla University)
Technology activity in relationship with 3 stars chef Pierre Gagnaire : on his site, one innovation based on results
Verane Chardonnet (ESTBA) of Molecular Gastronomy is given every month ; this invention is illustrated by recipes by Pierre Gagnaire :

The Institut des hautes études du goût, de la gastronomie et des arts de la table : high level educational
Plus others students from France and program on gastronomy;
abroad for "stages"
Experimental Workshops on Flavour : cultural and scientific sessions for a young audience.

Projects Content Collaborations fundings

Research on the distribution of methyl chavicol during
Audrey Tardieu, Walter de Man, Hervé This, 1D and 2D 1H-NMR analysis of taste compounds extracted from raw or fried Allium cepa L. tissues. Methodological questions, in Estragole thermal treatment of animal muscular tissue (Gallus Met@risk, AlimH, INRA INRA
Proceedings of NMR in Food 2008 Congress, Iceland. gallus) in a three compartments system
Hervé This, Descriptions formelles, pour penser et pour la formulation, L’Actualité chimique, (2008), 322(8), 11-14.
Research on the mechanisms responsible for the
Hervé This, A. Cazor, D. Trinh (2008). Color Evolution of Aqueous Solutions Obtained by Thermal Processing of Carrot (Daucus carota L.) Roots: Influence of Light. Journal of Food
Onion soaking and sauces formation of aqueous solution where plant tissues Mars Group Mars Group
Science, (2008), 73 (4) , E176–E182
(dice of bulb of Allium cepa L) are soaked.
E. Scholten, E. van der Linden, H. This, The Life of an Anise-Flavored Alcoholic Beverage: Does Its Stability Cloud or Confirm Theory ?, Langmuir (2008), 24(5), 1701-1706
Juan Valverde, Hervé This. 1H NMR quantitative determination of photosynthetic pigments from green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Marie Uniq Marie UNIQ
2008, 56(2), 314-320. Investigation of the chemical modifications of
Hervé This, Is chemistry killing culinary tradition, Proceedings of the Conference Why Chemistry ?, Krakow, Poland (2007). Chlorophylls and Carotenoids chlorophylls and carotenoids during thermal processing
Hervé This, Formal descriptions for formulation, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2007), 344(1-2), 4-8 of Phaseolus vulgaris L. tissues.
Juan Valverde, Marc Vignolle, Hervé This, Quantitative determination of photosynthetic pigments in green beans using thin-layer chromatography and flatbed scanner as
densitometer, Journal of Chemical Education, (2007), 84( 9), 1505-1507. WUR, The Netherlands INRA, The Netherlands
Development of the formalism. Research of the
Hervé This, Food Chemistry, a molecular based science, Introduction des Proceedings of EuroFoodChem XIV, Septembre 2007, Paris.
CDS/NPOS relationship between formula and physical/chemical
Hervé This, Pourquoi la cuisine n’est pas une science?, Sciences des aliments, (2006), 26(3), 201-210.
properties of systems described by these formula.
Hervé This, Food for tomorrow ? How the scientific discipline of molecular gastronomy could change the way we eat, EMBO reports (2006), 7, 11, 1062–1066
Hervé This, Cooking in schools, cooking in universities, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, (2006), 5(3), 48-50. Rectorat de Paris Education nationale
Scientific and Cultural Sessions around cooking for
Anne Cazor, Hervé This, Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose Extraction in Aqueous Carrot Root Extracts Prepared at Different Temperatures by Means of Direct NMR Measurements, Ateliers Science & Cuisine
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, (2006), 54, 4681-4686
Hervé This, Robert Méric, Anne Cazor, Lavoisier and meat stock, C.R.A.S Chimie (2006), 11-12, 1511-1515. University of Helsinki UE, FP7
Scientific and Cultural Sessions around cooking for
Hervé This, Molecular Gastronomy : a scientific look to cooking, Volume II of Life Sciences in Transition, Special Issue of the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Science Play University of Lausanne
primary schools of Europe (introduced in favellas of
Hervé This, Molecular gastronomy, Nature Materials, (2005), 4(1), 5-8.
Brasil) WUR, The Netherlands
Hervé This, Modelling dishes and exploring culinary ‘precisions’: the two issues of Molecular Gastronomy, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 93, April 2005, S139-S146.
Hervé This, La gastronomie moléculaire, Sciences des aliments, (2003), 23 ( 2), 187-198. Food microstructuring and MNR/CPMG and IMR study University of Seoul France/Korea Star
Hervé This, Georges Bram, Justus Liebig et les extraits de viande, Sciences des aliments, (2003), 23, 577-587. Gels and microstructure of gels and also of plant tissues.

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