‘Mazing mushroom materials

Brought to my attention by a food science student – kinda cool. I wonder how susceptible to molds and other cellulase and chitinase producing organisms this material might be if used as a building material?

Posted by Garrett Ohm on “Top Cultured


You can see more at http://www.ecovativedesign.com/

and a story from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that contains info on the inventors of Greensulate (reg TM).

and another from Scientific American.

Turns out it is a biodegradable foam, so in my wife’s construction project , where the whole house is covered in styrofoam insulation , and can be exposed to the weather it might not yet work.

Petits pains d’oignons

Getting ready for some work to showcase our wheat breeding activities… My version of petits pain d’oignons – Inspired by a colleague ex Toronto who cannot get them here.


Basic baguette dough with poolish.

Baker’s flour 60%

Stoneground whole white wheat from our Hard Elite nurseries 40%

instant yeast 1.2%

salt 2.5%

poolish 101%              (poolish formula – 100% baker’s  flour 100% water 0.1% instant yeast – about 15 hours at room temperature)

Mixed 4 min slow 4 min speed 2 (Hobart vertical 20 qt)

Bulk fermentation 1.5 hours – one fold @ 30 min

Divided to 150 g pieces – preshaped into rounds – rested 30 min – shaped into rolls – crosswise scissors cuts in top open cuts add 1-2 tablespoons onions**

Proof a short 1/2 hour proof – they could have used at least 15 min more proofing

Bake 18 min @ 215 deg C   ( ~ 420 deg F )  with steam

**Topped with Walla Walla sweet onions that were cooked in olive oil then poached in heavy whipping cream until the mixture was very thick . Onions were added to the cross shaped cuts in the top of the rolls,

Informal taste tests say this formulation is a keeper !


THE most amazing footage of energy storage and elasticity in Jello –

Sent to me by a former student – this video is stunning – the footage of the Jello starts at about 35 seconds…  All that upwards elastic stored force seems to make the Jello cube almost hover momentarily before it falls back down the first time.


FOLLOW THIS LINK –  I-Movix Sprintcam v3 sample shots from David Coiffier on Vimeo.

This goes with the video – I have NO idea what they’re talking about except maybe frames per second. “I-Movix is just finishing development of v3 sprintcam.
Based on a photron SA-2 camera, system is providing realtime HD-SDI output. Sensor is a 12bit CMOS of 2048 pixels wide, and speed can vary up to 2500fps

Want your chocolate flavor to be consistent – control the fermentation

From IFIS – The International Food Information Service – and Food Science Central.  “A flavour of fermentation”  from Camu et al 2008.  Fermentation of cocoa beans: influence of microbial activities and polyphenol concentrations on the flavour of chocolate.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 88 (13) 2288-2297.

To quote the piece – “Flavour development [in chocolate] requires both the action of various microorganisms in the cocoa pulp and the action of carbohydrases, proteinases and polyphenol oxidase in the cocoa beans. Alkanoids, in particular caffeine and theobromine, and polyphenols, such as proanthocyanidins and flavan-3-ols, impart bitterness and astringency to cocoa and chocolate“.

The authors conclude that the “establishment of relible fermentation controls” is needed “to ensure consistent chocolate flavour

Now,  consistent chocolate flavor, that’s a goal I can get behind.

THX to “Fritish” on Flickr

There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionShare Alike

What flavor would you like with your coffee ? Cockroach ?

From Food Media blog at Chow a story about a story that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air about the work of entomologist Doug Emlen from the University of Montana-Missoula.


The main story is about dung beetles http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103775784 This page has a link to the broadcast so you can listen yourself.

According to Chow the cockroach story begins at about 34m 50s into the audio.

At about 32:14 Terry Gross, the NPR host, asks Emlen how tolerant he is of insect pests. Part of his reply is that even most entomologists he knows don’t like cockroaches and that many people are allergic to components of cockroach cuticles and faeces. He then goes on to the story related by Food Media about pre-ground coffee – but it worth listening to the original delivery.

Mind you – it appears that “untrained cockroaches showed a clear preference for vanilla” according to Susan Decker, Shannon McConnaughey, and Terry L. Page, (pardon me for quoting the authors out of context) in the paper “Circadian regulation of insect olfactory learning”  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 104 no. 40: 15905-15910. Thanks to Bug Girl’s Blog for the citation.  —

— So if you like vanilla flavored coffee, watch out for untrained cockraoches !!!

Food Chemistry Experiments

For food chem teachers and students from IFT

A serious piece of work designed to make food chemistry concepts real.

Find the PDF at http://extension.usu.edu/AITC/teachers/pdf/experiments_foodscience.pdf

On a less formal basis are some experiments at




and you can take the food chemistry quiz


and a topic close to my heart – pasta – some reflections from Harold McGee on cooking pasta in small amounts of water.



Attribution – Lynn Ketchum OSU