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Today more than ever, science is playing a pivotal role in food and cooking as the worlds of the laboratory and the kitchen come closter together. A perfect example of this in today’s culture is the Food Network show Good Eats with Alton Brown along with websites like the Science of Cooking, Molecular Recipies, Modernist Cuisine and the Molecular Gastronomy Network.
The result of this movement to bring science into the kitchen is Molecular Gastronomy, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking. Molecular Gastronomy is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals to study the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.
BioMed Central, an open access STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of research, is introducting a new journal called Flavour, which will allow people to read the latest and highest quality scientific research in the field of Molecular Gastronomy. Flavour reflects the growing interest in the developing new science of molecular gastronomy and will publish high-quality, peer-reviewed research on topics related to flavor, while also encouraging contributions from chefs and other food professionals who are exploring the role of science in the kitchen. Flavour offers a “new taste” of journal and seeks to create a shared forum for the publication of evidence-based research in an open access context that will make it accessible not only to researchers but also the wider community of chefs, policy makers and the public.
Focusing on flavor generation and perception, and its influence on behavior and nutrition, Flavour is now accepting submissions and will publish research relating to all contexts — whether it be everyday cooking, haute cuisine or government policy on healthy eating.
The journal is seeking articles on the psychophysical, psychological and chemical aspects of flavour as well as those taking brain imaging approaches. Since the editors take flavour to be the experience of eating food as mediated through all the senses, they welcome articles that deal with not only taste and aroma, but also chemesthesis (the chemical sensibility of the skin and mucus membranes), texture and all the senses as they relate to the perception of flavor.
Some of Flavour’s main interests include:
- Mechanisms of taste and flavor
- How flavor affects liking and satisfaction gained from eating
- Relationships between satiety and perceived quality of foods
- Choice behaviour with respect to food quality and satiety
- Multi-modal integration and multi-sensory perception of flavor
- How all senses play their role in our perception of flavor
- How ingredients are changed by different cooking methods and in the mouth
- Aroma release mechanisms in the mouth
- Sensitivity to stimuli originating inside the body
- The evolution of our organs of taste
- The psychology and neuroscience of food preferences and habit formation
The new journal will be edited by Peter Barham from the University of Bristol and author of the best selling Science of Cooking, and Per Moller from the University of Copenhagen. Peter is a researcher of Molecular Gastronomy, polymer physics and penguins; Per’s research focuses on psychophysics and neurophysiology of the senses and on the neuropsychological phenomena regulating food sensation, reward and appetite.
Dr. Jens Kondrup from the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, believes Flavour’s high-level scientific content can bring about advancements to aid people that are sick :
Many patients with cancer and other long lasting diseases lose weight and suffer severely from malnutrition. The main reason is inadequate food intake and it appears that changes in sensory requirements play a major role. Flavour can become a very useful journal for the necessary scientific development in this area.
Claus Meyer, co-founder of the restaurant Noma in Denmark (voted S.Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurant 2010) is also excited about the possibilities for Flavour :
It is possible, it might even be very smart, to combat obesity, global warming and the over-exploitation of our planet, with deliciousness as a weapon. I am sure that Flavour will give us crucial insight into the pleasure giving qualities of food.
- A new Flavour of journal is cooking up a storm. BioMed Central Blog. 2011 May 3.