Tastes like science at Warminster School
By nhavergal | Monday, February 18, 2013, 11:25
Teachers and students at Warminster School were treated to a science lesson about taste and flavour by Professor Peter Barham.
Peter Barham (Left, Jonathan Bonnell (Science Teacher), David Hankey (Head of Science) volunteered to join in with the experiment.
The presentation of the emerging scientific discipline Molecular Gastronomy was held at the Canford Group 'Heads of Chemistry' annual meeting inviting students and teachers to find out the science behind taste and flavour.
Professor Barham is the only person in the world to have a chair in Molecular Gastronomy who spoke about his relationship with television chef Heston Blumenthal and have spoken about the science of flavouring to produce new tastes in food.
Professor Barham received a call from Heston Blumenthal who wanted to know why cookbooks always state 'add a pinch of salt'.
An experiment at the annual meeting was held in which members were questioned about their perceptions in taste and describe flavours. Volunteers were asked to sip on what appeared to be a glass of red wine and say what they could taste. The process was repeated with a glass of white wine. Volunteers described both drinks tasted differently however Barham revealed both drinks were the same but one had flavourless food colouring in.
Professor Barham continued to explain that the perception of taste is in our mind and we use the appearance and what something is expected to taste to make a judgement.
In a statement released by Warminster School they said: "Professor Barham's presentation proved to be very thought provoking and most of the audience stayed behind for a chance to chat with him afterwards."
"We would like to thank Professor Barham for his time and sharing his knowledge of this fascinating new discipline. We will follow his future work with great interest."