T Nation

Gourmet Nutritional Science

I know there are some people around here who love to cook and are really into that gourmet stuff. This is out of Popular Science Nov 2007. A list of chemical that can be used for various gourmet-type dishes.

Methylcellulose: Mixed with hot water, methylcellulose molecules congeal into a thick syrup or gel. As it cools, the substance becomes liquid again.
On the menu: Reverse chocolate ice cream that’s hot and solid on your plate and then dissolves into liquid in your mouth

National Startch N-Zorbit Tapioca Maltodextrin: Turn any fat or oil into a powder that releases its flavor only when it hits the moit interior of your mouth.
On the menu: Olive-oil powder

Sodium Alginate and Calcium Lactate: An extract of kelp seaweed, sodium alginate forms a gel when exposed to calcium lactate. Add alginate to a cantaloupe puree and drop a spoonful of it into water mixed with calcium lactate to create a sphere with a gel-like exterior.
On the menu: Tiny drops of fruit caviar

Soy Lecithin: An emulsifier, soy lecithin keeps together molecules that otherwise wouldn’t stick, such as oil and water.
On the menu: Squash-foam soup; carrot-juice “air,” a super-light foam

Agar: Used in japan since the 15h century, afar is an extract of red algae that traps warm-water molecules to create a substance that can be chilled and cut into thin gelatinous sticks.
On the menu: Translucent sheets of Campari and beet, rosewater fruit jelly

Xanthan Gum: Xanthan, made from fermented cornstarch, is one of the most powerful thickeners available. Common in commercial salad dressings, it can keep oil and water together for weeks.
On the menu: Caramel citrus vinaigrette

Activa RM (Transglutaminase): Often called meat glue, Activa makes proteins–meat–stick together by linking two amino acids, glutamine and lysine.
On the menu: Shrimp noodles, steak filets trimmed completely of at and then reglued together.

I forgot to add that these are sold at www.le-sanctuaire.com.

I saw some of these in action on the next Iron Chef competition on food network. With a little practice(and some extra cash) some of these would certainely impress some guests.