Food Biophysics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 103–113 | Cite as

Cooking Literacy: Meringues as Culinary Scaffoldings

REVIEW ARTICLE

Abstract

As simple as some baking recipes may seem, it is imperative for the cook to realize that baking is a complex phenomenon where scientific insight may provide a significant benefit. At the same time, scientists have to embrace the notion that cooking and baking are deemed of serious and systematic investigation—as they continue to be clouded with plenty of culinary mysticism. With this contribution, we aim to offer an example as to support these statements. Egg white proteins are the main structural components of meringues and as such, their chemistry and the way they behave during whipping in the presence of sugar(s), acid(s) and cations, notwithstanding the effect of the age of egg-whites and their whipping temperature, will affect the quality of the foams produced and ultimately of the dish they form a part of. We critically review the available and relevant body of knowledge around the biophysics and chemistry of culinary egg white-based foams. In doing so, we also propose a series of experiments that will help elucidate the mechanism(s) by which copper and cream of tartar stabilize egg white foams.

Keywords

Meringues Egg white Foams Gastronomy Science-based cooking 

References

  1. 1.
    E.L. Smith, in But the Crackling is Superb—An Anthology on Food and Drink by Fellows and Foreign Members of The Royal Society, ed. by N. Kurti, G. Kurti (Institute of Physics Publishing, London, 1988)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Ruhlman, Ratio—The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking (Scribner, New York, 2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice—Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread (Ten Speed Press, New York, 2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P. Figoni, How Baking Works, 3rd edn. (Wiley, New Jersey, 2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. Corriher, Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. McGee, On Food and Cooking—The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (Scribner, New York, 2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    S. Corriher, Cookwise—The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking (HarperCollins, New York, 1997)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. Blumenthal, Further Adventures in Search of Perfection—Reinventing Kitchen Classics (Bloomsbury, London, 2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. McGee, Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes (The Penguin Press, New York, 2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Parloa, Miss Parloa’s New Cookbook: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking (C.T. Dillingham, New York, 1880)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    C.W. Pernell et al., Heat-induced changes in angel food cakes containing egg-white protein or whey protein isolate. J. Food Sci. 67(8), 2945–2951 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    A.E. Foegeding, P.J. Luck, J.P. Davis, Factors determining the physical properties of protein foams. Food Hydrocolloids 20(284–292), 284 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    M.A. Barmore, The influence of chemical and physical factors of egg-white foams, in Technical Bulletin No. 9. (Fort Collins, 1934)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J.M. Rodriguez Patino, M. Dolores Naranjo Delgado, J. Linares Fernandez, Stability and mechanical strength of aqueous foams containing food proteins. Colloids Surf., A Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 99(1), 65–78 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    C.K. Lau, E. Dickinson, Instability and structural change in an aerated system containing egg albumen and invert sugar. Food Hydrocolloids 19(1), 111–121 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    O.R. Fennema (ed.), Food Chemistry (CRC Press, Taylor and Francis group, Florida, 1996)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Y. Mine, Recent advances in the understanding of egg white protein functionality. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 6, 225–236 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    D. Langevin, Aqueous foams: a field of investigation at the frontier between chemistry and physics. ChemPhysChem 9, 510–522 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    A. Saint-James, Physical chemistry in foam drainage and coarsening. Soft Matter 2, 836–849 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    P. Walstra, Physical Chemistry of Foods (Marcel Dekker, New York, 2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    B. Lowe, Experimental Cookery—From the Chemical and Physical Standpoint, 3rd edn. (Wiley, New York, 1943)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    X. Yang, T.K. Berry, A.E. Foegeding, Foams prepared from whey protein isolate and egg white protein: 1. Physical, microstructural, and interfacial properties. J. Food Sci. 74(5), E259–E268 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    P.J. Luck, N. Bray, A.E. Foegeding, Factors determining yield stress and overrun of whey protein foams. J. Food Sci. 67(5), 1677–1681 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Y. Mine, T. Noutomi, N. Haga, Thermally induced changes in egg white proteins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 38, 2122–2125 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    T.M. Johnson, M.E. Zabik, Egg Albumen proteins interactions in an angel food cake system. J. Food Sci. 46, 1231–1236 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    L.M.C. Sagis et al., Effect of copper ions on the drainage stability of foams prepared from egg white. Colloids Surf., A Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 180(1–2), 163–172 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Y. Mine, Recent advances in egg protein functionality in the food system. World’s Poultry Sci. J. 58, 31–39 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    H.J. McGee, S.R. Long, W.R. Briggs, Why whip egg whites in copper bowls? Nature 308, 667–668 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    L.R. MacDonnell et al., The functional properties of the egg white proteins. Food Technol. 9, 49–53 (1955)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    B.R. Min et al., Effect of irradiating shell eggs on quality attributes and functional properties of yolk and white. Poult. Sci. 84, 1791–1796 (2005)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    J.F. Zayas, Functionality of Proteins in food (Springer, New York, 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    S. Damodaran, A. Paraf. (eds.), Food Proteins and their Applications. (Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1997)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    H.D. Belitz, W. Grosch, P. Schieberle (eds.), Food Chemistry, 4th edn. (Springer, 2009)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    F.E. Cunningham, Properties of egg white foam drainage. Poult. Sci. 55, 738–743 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    K. Lomakina, K. Míková, A study of the factors affecting the foaming properties of egg white—a review. Czech J. Food Sci. 24(3), 110–118 (2006)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    H. This, Molecular Gastronomy—Exploring the Science of Flavor (Columbia University Press, New York, 2006)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    P. Wierenga, et al. Variations in meringues. In Proceedings of the Euro Food Chem XIV. (Paris, France, 2007)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    L.W. Hunt, J.L. St. John, Angel food cake form the thick and thin portions of egg white. J. Home Econ. 23, 1151–1156 (1931)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    W.E. Pyke, G. Johnson, Relationships between certain physical measurements upon fresh and stored eggs and their behavior in the preparation and baking of cake. (Poultry Science, 1941) pp. 125–138Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    I.M. Bailey, Foaming of egg white. Ind. Eng. Chem. 27(8), 973–976 (1935)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    M.A. Barmore, The influence of various factors, including altitude, in the production of angel food cake. Technical Bulletin No. 15 (1936)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    E.L. Miller, G.E. Vail, Angel food cakes made from fresh and frozen egg whites. Cereal Chem. 20, 528–535 (1943)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    A. Kamozawa, A. Talbot, Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work (Clarkson Potter, New York, 2010)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    G. Wang, T. Wang, Effects of yolk contamination, shearing, and heating on foaming properties of fresh egg white. J. Food Sci. 74(2), C147–C156 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    G.A. van Aken, Aeration of emulsions by whipping. Colloids Surf., A Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 190(3), 334–354 (2001)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    V. Lechevalier et al., Ovalbumin, ovotransferrin, lysozyme: three model proteins for structural modifications at the air-water interface. J. Agric. Food Chem. 51(21), 6354–6361 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    A.M. Oldham, D.R. McComber, D.F. Cox, Effect of cream of tartar level and egg white temperature on angel food cake quality. Fam. Consum. Sci. Res. J. 29(2), 111–124 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    I. Van der Plancken, A. Van Loey, M.E. Hendrickx, Foaming properties of egg white proteins affected by heat or high pressure treatment. J. Food Eng. 78, 1410–1426 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    I. Van der Plancken, A. Van Loey, M.E.G. Hendrickx, Changes in sulfhydryl content of egg white proteins due to heat and pressure treatment. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 5726–5733 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    I. Van der Plancken, A. Van Loey, M.E.G. Hendrickx, Effect of moisture content during dry-heating on selected physicochemical and functional properties of dried egg white. J. Agric. Food Chem. 55, 127–135 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    L. Campbell, V. Raikos, S.R. Euston, Modification of functional properties of egg-white proteins. Die Nahrung 47, 369–376 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    W.J. Stadelman, O.J. Cotterill (eds.), Egg Science and Technology, 4th edn. (The Haworth Press Inc., New York, 1994)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    T.K. Berry, X. Yang, A.E. Foegeding, Foams prepared from whey protein isolate and egg white protein: 2. Changes associated with angel food cake functionality. J. Food Sci. 74(5), E269–E277 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    T. Arakawa, S.N. Timasheff, Stabilization of protein structure by sugars. Biochemistry 21(25), 6536–6544 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    P.J. Luck, A.E. Foegeding, The role of copper in protein foams. Food Biophys. 3, 255–260 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    O.J. Cotterill, et al., Metallic cations affect functional performance of spray-dried heat-treated egg white. J. Food Sci. 57(6) (1992)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    F.J. Monahan, J.B. German, J.E. Kinsella, Effect of pH and temperature on protein unfolding and thiol/disulfide interchange reactions during heat-induced gelation of whey proteins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 43, 46–52 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    N. Myrhvold, C. Young, M. Bilet, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (The Cooking Lab, Seattle, 2011)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Available from: http://allrecipes.com/
  60. 60.
  61. 61.
  62. 62.
    D. Allen, Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course (London: Ted Smart Publishers, 2005)Google Scholar
  63. 63.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mars, IncorporatedMcLeanUSA

Personalised recommendations