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Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 24th Sep 2011

Cheese Making and Cake Baking: The Chemistry of Cookery

Cakes (c) jujuly25

We've whipped up an appetising take on the science of food and cooking for you this week. With a main course of cookery in the kitchen served up by a cake-baking physicist followed by a microbiological look at the cheese board and then the bacterial basis of the Best Before Date for dessert, this three-course scientific combo is an absolute academic feast. Also on the menu this week, how scientists are using brain scanners to reconstruct the movies we see in the mind's eye and we ask whether Einstein was wrong as scientists report particles apparently moving faster-than-light...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:43 - DEET Scrambles Sense of Smell

    DEET is one of the most common chemicals in insect repellents, but since its invention scientists have been unable to settle a decision about exactly how it works. Now, work published in Nature suggests that DEET not only confuses scientists, but confuses insects too by scrambl...

  • 04:33 - Predator-Prey role reversal: hunter becomes hunted

    The hunter has become hunted. Israeli scientists have discovered a species of beetle larva that uses its antennae to attract amphibians much larger than itself before using razor-sharp jaws to pounce and latch on. The unfortunate frog or toad is rapidly reduced to a dessicated h...

  • 07:52 - Movies of the Mind

    Successfully decoding and reconstructing of the visual images experienced by volunteers viewing a sequence of Hollywood movies may lead to communication with brain injured patients and even being able to watch your own dreams like a video...

  • 13:03 - Teaching T Cells to Tolerate Friends

    Teaching the immune system to tolerate certain friendly bacteria is an important step towards gut health, and this week researchers in America have shed some light on how and where those lessons take place...

  • 23:31 - Stonehenge Landscape Restoration Project - Planet Earth

    When Turner and Constable first painted Stonehenge about two hundred years ago, the very famous monument was surrounded by species rich chalk grasslands. The Stonehenge Landscape Restoration project aims is to restore the landscape surrounding the monument by recreating the cha...

  • 29:08 - Baking a Cake

    The science of cake baking...

  • 56:24 - Is smell a good way to tell if food is safe?

    I tend to smell food on its ‘use by date’ as I've been known to throw food away before the date especially with poultry. Is smell a good way to tell whether food is safe?

  • 57:27 - Does blue cheese alter antibiotic resistance?

    I enjoy stilton's blue cheese. However, I wonder if regular consumption of the cheese would contribute to antibiotic resistance given that strains of Penicillium are used in its manufacture?

  • 58:13 - Why does mould change colour?

    I recently bought a packet of Gorgonzola cheese, opened it up, and the mould on the inside was yellow. I thought it might have gone bad, but then I smelled and tasted it, and it was fine. I left the cheese on the counter and an hour later, I came back and the mould was blue. M...

  • 59:00 - What happens to cake that's been frozen for 11 years?

    My friend and I found a cake in the freezer today. The label on the cover of it had a data August 8th, 2000! It smells and looks fine, if a bit dry. Is it safe to eat something that's been kept from moulding for this long?

  • 59:54 - Is is safe to eat food that's soon after its 'Sell by' date?

    I like sell by dates - being a student I can get stuff cheaper, so there is a minor risk, but I bet that a sandwich that has a sell by date of Sunday is still edable even Tuesday or early Wednesday. I get the sandwich for less than half price. Is this a safe strategy?

  • 60:43 - Which moulds are dangerous?

    It seems that many moulds are actually fine. Not all of them taste great, but you can scrape them off without any ill effects in most cases when they're on things like cheese and salami. But what moulds are a problem?



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