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Month: November 2017

The Food Science of Hard-Boiled Eggs – Part I

The Food Science of Hard-Boiled Eggs – Part I

There are three parts to the science of hard-boiled eggs: the physical chemistry of boiling water, the biochemistry of eggs, and the science of cooking eggs. We will look at them in that order over the next three Sundays. Today in part I, we will look at the science of boiling water. Have you been adding salt to the water you use to boil your eggs? I’ll show you why you probably may want to stop wasting your salt… THE…

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Beer as a Risk-Factor for Malaria

Beer as a Risk-Factor for Malaria

This would be funny if it wasn’t actually real. First, let’s talk about malaria followed by the connection between malaria and beer. MALARIA Malaria is one of the nastiest diseases known. It is caused by several different species of itty bitty protozoans from the genus Plasmodium. The Malaria Disease Vector A disease vector is medical-speak for the way a disease is transmitted between people. As you probably remember from high school biology, the vector for malaria protozoans are vampire bugs, otherwise known…

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The Phytochemical that Launched a Thousand Ships – Part II

The Phytochemical that Launched a Thousand Ships – Part II

THE PHYTOCHEMICAL THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND SHIPS – PART II Our phytochemical of interest, piperine, is the active ingredient in Old World pepper and the plants of the Piper genus. Its history and background were discussed last week here. Compared to last week, this week’s post might not seem as spicy but I hope I can pepper it up a bit. Piperine is (2E,4E)-5-(2H-1,3-Benzodioxol-5-yl)-1-(piperidin-1-yl)penta-2,4-dien-1-one: a compound name only an organic chemist could love. It’s more succinctly known as C17H19NO3, a name that unfortunately…

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The Phytochemical that Launched a Thousand Ships – Part I

The Phytochemical that Launched a Thousand Ships – Part I

THE PHYTOCHEMICAL C17H19NO3 As you may recall from high school biology, a phytochemical is any chemical compound that comes from plants. Our species of omnivore consumes huge quantities of phytochemicals everyday: caffeine, sugar, methyl salicylate, vanilla, just to name a few. Because much of our diet is plant-based, many of our daily nutrients are in the form of phytochemicals. Basically, phytochemical is just a fancy word but now that you know it, you can get a lot of mileage out of it…

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