From the Chef’s Mind to the Dish: How Scientific Approaches Facilitate the Creative Process


This work describes a practical way to optimize the high level of the chef creativity to produce rational approaches to food design. It is particularly focused on the preparation of two dishes: bubbly juice and false skin. For the first dish, three samples were prepared with egg white protein (EWP) and xanthan gum at pH 4.6 and pH 7.0. At pH 4.6 (isoelectric point), there were substantial differences of the interfacial dilational modulus of EWP when xanthan gum was added. At 1 mg/ml xanthan, the system showed a very strong interface (high viscoelasticity) compared to the other samples. Measuring half drainage time revealed which samples were the most stable. The properties discussed were related to stability. For the false skin dish, edible films were made by gelatin extracted from cod skins (A solution) and a mixture of cod skin gelatin and commercial gelatin (AG solution). The results showed that tensile strength (TS) of gelatin films increases almost by 25%, elongation at break (EAB) by 14%, and the Young modulus (E) by almost 100% when increasing protein concentration. To confirm water plasticizer effect, the results were compared to a gelatin film made with 30% glycerol (plasticizer). Water content affects to a great extent the mechanical properties of the films. Finally, images of the dishes are presented in order to have a full view of the purpose and the results obtained.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8


  1. 1.

    F. Adria, H. Blumenthal, T. Keller, H. McGee (2006). Statement on the “new cookery”, accessible at,,1968666,00.html

  2. 2.

    E. Dickinson, E. Izgi, Colloids Surf. A Physicochem. Eng. Asp 113(1–2), 191–201 (1996)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    J.C. Arboleya, P.J. Wilde, Food Hydrocoll. 19(3), 485–491 (2005)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    R. Baeza, C.C. Sanchez, A.M.R. Pilosof, J.M.R. Patino, Food Hydrocoll. 18(6), 959–966 (2004)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Yudi Pranoto, Chong Min Lee, Hyun Jin Park, LWT–Food Sci. Technol 40(5), 766–774 (2007)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Ingvild J. Haug, Kurt I. Draget, Olav Smidsrod, Food Hydrocoll. 18(2), 203–213 (2004)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    P. Montero, M.C. Gomez-Guillen, J. Food Sci. 65(3), 434–438 (2000)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    O.H. Lowry, H.I. Rosebrough, A.L. Farr, R.I. Randall, J. Biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    J.H. Muyonga, C.G.B. Cole, K.G. Duodu, Food Hydrocoll. 18(4), 581–592 (2004)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    ASTM. (2001). Standard test method for tensile properties of thin plastic sheeting. Annual book of ASTM standards. Designation D882-01. Philadelphia: ASTM, American Society for Testing Materials

  11. 11.

    P.J. Wilde, Mackie, Verlag Metall Innovation Technologie MIT 59–64 (1999)

  12. 12.

    P.J. Wilde, Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci. 5(3–4), 176–181 (2000)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    R. Baeza, C.C. Sanchez, A.M.R. Pilosof, J.M.R. Patino, Food Hydrocoll. 19(2), 239–248 (2005)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    V.B. Tolstoguzov, Food Hydrocoll. 4, 429–468 (1991)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    D.J. Carp, G.B. Bartholomai, P. Relkin, A.M.R. Pilosof, Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces 21(1–3), 163–171 (2001)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    J.P. Davis, E.A. Foegeding, Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces 54(2), 200–210 (2007)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Magnus Gudmundsson, Hannes Hafsteinsson, J. Food Sci. 62(1), 37–39 (1997)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Peng Zhou, Joe M. Regenstein, J. Food Sci. 70(6), c392–c396 (2005)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    S. Zhang, Y. Wang, J.L. Herring, J.-H. Oh, J. Food Sci. 72(9), C498–C503 (2007)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    A. Jongjareonrak, B. Soottawat et al., Food Hydrocoll. 20(4), 492–501 (2006)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Rungsinee Sothornvit, John M. Krochta, J. Food Eng. 50(3), 149–155 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge Dr Brent Emerson for his help during the writing of this manuscript.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Juan-Carlos Arboleya.

Additional information

This research has been supported by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries from the Basque Government.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Arboleya, JC., Olabarrieta, I., Luis-Aduriz, A. et al. From the Chef’s Mind to the Dish: How Scientific Approaches Facilitate the Creative Process. Food Biophysics 3, 261–268 (2008).

Download citation


  • Molecular gastronomy
  • Egg white protein
  • Cod protein
  • Foam stability
  • Rheological properties
  • Edible film