Outstanding !!!

Posted Jan 4 2010 by kscereallab on youtube. This is just one of a group of videos showing the gelatinization of the starch granules of a number of plant species. From the channel name I am guessing with some certainty that this is the cereal lab at Kansas State U, my wife’s alma mater.

I have been looking for ways for the whole class to see this (starch gelatinization) at one time. And because I don’t have the technology available to film what I am seeing in a microscope, this is really a great help. It appears as though the filming was done using a microscope fitted with a hot stage. Thanks KSU !

I guess I would have been exceptionally pleased if they had been able to somehow log the temperature rise as they filmed the granule behaviour.

Looks like a great application for mobile-phone-based microscopy as reported here in July last year.

Wheat starch

See more at http://www.youtube.com/user/kscereallab

This is great !

Digital Learning Material for Food Chemistry Education

The website gives a taste of what these folks at Wageningen have been doing in creating a virtual learning space for food chemistry teaching.

Their website gives an overview of the digital learning material that they have designed and developed. The work was done by the Laboratory of Food Chemistry of Wageningen University and is targeted at bachelors and masters students.

There are only a couple of working examples, most else are screen shots of other exercises.

If you click on the “activating exercises” tab on the left menu you can experience the material on proteins and phenolic compounds. I can just see a great opportunity for learning some of the basis material, leaving class and lab time open for better things, like product development exercises and hands-on experience of some aspects of food chemistry that in my view need to be seen and handled for a true understanding [non-Newtonian flow behaviors for example].

It  seems the group Julia Diederen; Harry Gruppen; Alphons Voragen; Rob Hartog; Martin Mulder; and Harm Biemans, have been working on this since at least 2002. You can see some other details here  Design Guidelines for Digital Learning Material for Food Chemistry Education and see some of the progression from 2002 through 2006 at least.

I just love the idea and much of its application, I can’t wait to get a chance to test drive the decision tree for functional ingredients.

They have  bibliography of their formal publications in the area as well, also accessed via the left menu.

There is a movie version of the pre-lab and a lab assignment which is illustrative.


Harboes Brewery in Denmark has released a ‘fresh tasting lager” that does not use malt !

They say…

“Harboe introducerer den revolutionerende Clim8Beer – en moderne brygget pilsner, som sparer miljøet for mere end 8% CO2 pr. øl men med samme gode smag”.

“Clim8Beer is nothing less than a revolution, a fresh lager brewed in a modern way, saving the environment for more than 8g CO2 per unit. Still, with the same great taste of course”.

Instead of malt Harboes are using an enzyme preparation (Ondea® Pro) from Novozymes to replace the malt. I am guessing alpha- and beta-amylases (to get the maltose from the starch), maybe amylogucosidase and/or pullulanase (to make sure there is a maximum of fermentable sugar and not too many small maltodextrins with alpha 1-6 bonds), maybe some proteases to mimic the mild proteolysis that should be active in barley malt so that the proteins/peptides after mashing are at the appropriate stage of hydrolysis, and of course some betaglucanase for the mixed linkage beta -glucans that are the cause of stuck mashes.

Harboes has called the beer clim8, www.clim8beer.dk, as they claim a reduction in the carbon footprint from the sidestepping of malting. I guess malting does use quite a bit of energy and water. A lot of the energy must be used in the kilning of the malt.

There are english language videos like this one http://www.clim8beer.dk/english/tilblivelsen_af_clim8.html that describe the process.

Novozymes take on the new beer is here http://www.novozymes.com/en/MainStructure/PressAndPublications/PressRelease/2009/BarleyBeer.htm.

Novozymes claim that it is a “sustainable revolution in brewing” , but of course it still needs to taste good !!! I am interested to taste my first sample.

Is this a good or bad thing – is it the end of the malthouse (I personally doubt it, especially for darker beers that rely on more extensively kilned malt). Just how do they replace the flavors created by kilning? Even in a mild beer using a pale malt there must be some products of Maillard that lead to the toasty, nutty, roasted flavors.