Science Questions

What's happens when you fry food?

Sun, 18th Mar 2007

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Mark via email from Malta asked:

What's actually happening when you fry food?


 Its called the Maillard reaction after a French chemist Louis Camille Maillard. This is a chemical reaction between carbohydrate groups (that's sugars largely) and protein or amino-acids (those are the building blocks of proteins). It takes place at around 148 degrees and when these sugar groups lock on to the amino-acid groups they form these nice, brown caramelised substances which taste great that's the nice aroma you get from cooking. As it happens at 148 degrees that's 48 degrees hotter than water boils at that's why you get a very different consistency and taste and texture to fried food compared to boiled.


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