12 Oct 2012

A Nobel trilogy of flavours

By AlphaZeta (Own work) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
This year's Nobel prize was awarded "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors". This concludes a marvellous trilogy of Nobel prizes which in sum give us a rather complete picture of how it comes that we are able to sense flavours, that is how we can taste and smell.

Let's for now disregard other senses such as hearing, texture and so forth and consider the flavour of something we eat as being mainly a combination of tasting (tongue) and smelling (nose). This is of course simplistic, but still taste and scent are two of the most important senses involved in our perception of food. If we concentrate on these two senses, which are both so-called chemical senses, we can actually invoke three Nobel prizes to illustrate important parts of this sensing process. They are all very elegantly described in both popular and scientific terms, depending on your background or taste, at the web site of the Nobel prize:

4 Sept 2012

Facts about miracle fruit (miraculin revisited - part 2:2)

Short introduction in Norwegian: I anledning at jeg deltok i en episode om mirakelfrukt på Schrödingers katt på NRK (og YouTube) publiserer jeg to blogginnlegg om temaet. Det første innlegget handler om smakstesting av mirakelfrukt. Innlegget nedenfor er del 2 av 2 og er en samling fakta om mirakelfrukt med referanser til forskningslitteratur. Siden denne bloggen normalt er på engelsk fortsetter jeg herved på engelsk.

On the occasion of me attending an episode of the Norwegian popsci TV series "Schrödingers katt" (and YouTube) about miracle fruit I post two entries on miracle fruit and its key constituent miraculin. The first post describes a tasting of miracle fruit with a number of sour foods. The second post below is a collection of facts about miracle fruit based on research literature. Part 2:2 below is divided into the following main topics:

9 Apr 2012

New journal Flavo(u)r for researchers and practitioners

A new open access journal for issues related to Molecular gastronomy has recently arrived: Flavour. According to the editors, the journal "seeks to create a shared forum for the publication of evidence-based research in an open access context that will make it accessible not only to researchers but also the wider community of chefs, policy makers and the public". This is no small ambition.