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The emerging science of gastrophysics and its application to the algal cuisine

Author(s): Mouritsen Ole G

Journal: Flavour
ISSN 2044-7248

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: gastrophysics | molecular biophysics | algae | seaweeds | science of cooking

Abstract This paper points to gastrophysics as an emerging scientific discipline that will employ a wide range of the most powerful theoretical, simulational and experimental biophysical techniques to study the empirical world of cooking and gastronomy. Gastrophysics aims to exploit recent advances in the physical sciences to forward the scientific study of food, its raw materials, the effects of processing food and quantitative aspects of the physical basis for food quality, flavour and absorption into the human body. It suggests the use in cooking of a class of raw materials little used in the Western world, the marine macroalgae or seaweeds, as a laboratory for defining, characterizing and shaping the emerging scientific discipline of gastrophysics. In relation to gastronomy, seaweed materials are virtually unexplored scientifically by physical experimentation and theory. The sea is one of the last resorts for humankind to exploit the ability to obtain more food to feed a hungry world, because world fisheries can no longer meet the need for healthy seafood. Hence, seaweeds offer a rich and virtually unexploited source of primary marine foodstuff in the Western world. To explore the full gastronomical potential of this resource, there is a need for fundamental research into the gastrophysics of seaweeds.
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