Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 394, Issue 3, pp 659–661 | Cite as

Analytical methods for molecular gastronomy

  • Hervé ThisEmail author
  • Douglas Rutledge
Feature Article

Let us assume that science—Michael Faraday preferred the old term used by Isaac Newton, “natural philosophy”—is, in short, the activity of looking for the mechanisms of phenomena, using the “experimental method.” In this regard, any phenomenon needs an “explanation:” mountains surging upwards, the blueness of the sky, the behavior of subatomic particles… and the rise of soufflés, the softening of carrot roots during thermal processing (“cooking”) in water, or the change in color of immature pods of green beans during heating.

These last examples bring us directly to the core of “molecular gastronomy,” a scientific discipline co-created in 1988 by both the late Nicholas Kurti (1908–1988)—a former professor of physics at Oxford—and by one of us (H. This) [1]. At that time it was observed that, although the science of food composition and the study of industrial processes were very well developed, many daily preparations were not being considered by food science. In particular, very...


  1. 1.
    This H (1999) Let us have a simple experiment, in memorial, Nicholas Kurti (1908–1998). The Chemical Intelligencer, July 1999, pp 47–48Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Belitz HD, Grosch W (1999) Food chemistry. Springer, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    This H (2008) Cooking, a quintessential art. California University Press, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    This H (2007) Formal descriptions for formulation. Int J Pharm 344(1-2):4–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cazor A, This H (2006) Sucrose, glucose and fructose extraction in aqueous carrot root extracts prepared at different temperatures by means of direct NMR measurements. J Agric Food Chem 54:4681–4686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cuny M, Le Gall G, Colquhoun I, Lees M, Rutledge DN (2008) Fruit juice authentication by 1H NMR : discrimination between grapefruit juice, orange juice and blends thanks to chemometric tools. Anal Chim Acta 390:419–427Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Valverde J, This H (2008) 1H NMR quantitative determination of photosynthetic pigments from green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). J Agric Food Chem 56(2):314–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    This H, Cazor A, Trinh D (2008) Color evolution of aqueous solutions obtained by thermal processing of carrot (Daucus carota l.) roots: influence of light. J Food Sci 73(4):E176–E182Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    This H, Lehn J-M (2001) Chimie supramoléculaire et auto-organisation. Pour Sci 290:80–85Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 214 INRAAgroParisTech (Institut des Sciences et Industries du Vivant et de l’Environnement)ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations