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Katie Wendt

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Aaron Augenblick

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Kristofer Wollinger

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Stephanie Warren

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Food scientist Shirley Corriher on how to bake a better chocolate chip cookie.

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The Maillard reaction is named after the French scientist Louis Camille Maillard (1878-1936), who studied the reactions of amino acids and carbohydrates in 1912, as part of his PhD thesis, which was published in 1913. The Maillard reaction is not a single reaction, but a complex series of reactions between amino acids and reducing sugars, usually at increased temperatures. Like caramelization, it is a form of non-enzymatic browning. In the process, hundreds of different flavor compounds are created. These compounds in turn break down to form yet more new flavor compounds, and so on. Each type of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction.

Photosynthesis is an essential part of the exchange between humans and plants. Amanda Ooten walks us through the process of photosynthesis, also discussing the relationship between photosynthesis and carbohydrates, starch, and fiber -- and how the air we breathe is related to the food we ingest.

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

For other TED-Ed Lessons about food, check out this series called You Are What You Eat.

Do you like charity? Do you like cookies? Check out Broadway Baker. He uses chemistry to make some of the most delicious cookies, and he donates a portion of his proceeds to charity.

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TED-Ed
Lesson Creator
New York, NY

Every time a person cooks, they use chemistry. However, most people have no idea.

Nov 14 • 
25 Responses
 / 25 Updates