Course title
Science of cooking

Course content
The scientific principles of chemistry, materials science and physics will be introduced as fundamentals of the science of nutrition and cooking: molecular gastronomy and physical gastronomy.
The course is based on "western-style" foods and cooking methods, especially Italian. From time to time Asian cooking ingredients and styles are introduced. At the end, an overview on Japanese cuisine and its methods will be given.
It is worth noting that metabolism, physiology, and biochemical processes of digestion overcome the scope of this course.
Purpose of class
From the point of view of science of cooking, the students will learn and use methods of scientific discovery/inquiry, and they will consolidate the disciplinary methods of chemistry, materials science and physics.
The students will also understand the molecular basis of food and nutrition and the importance of science in cooking
Goals and objectives
  1. Students will understand the concepts of molecular gastronomy, and cooking processes
  2. Students will learn about browning reactions; they will learn about chemistry, physics and nutrition facts of meat, fish, dough and milk derivatives
  3. Students will learn about chemistry, physics and nutrition facts of eggs, seasonings, spices, fruits, and vegetables
  4. Students will learn about chemistry, physics and nutrition facts of alcoholic beverages, coffee, chocolate and will learn the scientific principles of Japanese cuisine
  5. Students will be able to prepare a report on a topic of their choice
  6. Students will be able to prepare and discuss a short presentation on a topic of their choice in classroom at the end of the course
Class schedule

Class schedule HW assignments (Including preparation and review of the class.) Amount of Time Required
1. Guidance
Science of food and cooking: molecular gastronomy
Read handouts part 1 170minutes
2. Browning (Maillard reaction) Read handouts part 2 170minutes
3. Heating, cooking methods and utensils: physical gastronomy Read handouts part 3 170minutes
4. Meat and fish Read handouts part 4 170minutes
Reply to questionnaire 1 (on classes 1, 2, 3) 50minutes
5. Cereal dough and batters: bread, pizza, pasta, cakes and pastry Read handouts part 5 170minutes
6. Milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt and sour cream Read handouts part 6 170minutes
reply to questionnaire 2 (on classes 4, 5, 6) 50minutes
7. Eggs, custards, foams and sauces Read handouts part 7 170minutes
8. Seasonings and spices Read handouts part 8 170minutes
9. Fruits and vegetables Read handouts part 9 170minutes
10. Wine, beer, and spirits Read handouts part 10 170minutes
Reply to questionnaire 3 (on classes 7, 8, 9) 50minutes
11. Legumes, grains, nuts, chocolate and coffee Read handouts part 11 170minutes
12. Japanese traditional cuisine and beverages Read handouts part 12 170minutes
reply to questionnaire 4 (on classes 10, 11, 12) 50minutes
13. Examination in class: discussion of reports in front of colleagues Preparation of report 180minutes
14. Examination in class: presentation in front of colleagues Preparation of presentation 180minutes
Total. - - 2650minutes
Relationship between 'Goals and Objectives' and 'Course Outcomes'

Questionnaires report presentation Total.
1. 10% 10%
2. 10% 10%
3. 10% 10%
4. 10% 10%
5. 30% 30%
6. 30% 30%
Total. 40% 30% 30% -
Evaluation method and criteria
Passing score is 60% of the total and can be reached combining the partial grades from questionnaires (to be compiled at home) and exams in classroom
The 4 questionnaires are compulsory and will contribute 40% of the grade (10% from each questionnaire)
Exam is based on a report (30%) and a presentation (30%) on one topic of the classes 1 to 12 and will contribute 60% of the grade.
Feedback on exams, assignments, etc.
ways of feedback specific contents about "Other"
Feedback in outside of the class (ScombZ, mail, etc.)
Textbooks and reference materials
Handouts provided by the teacher.
Textbooks for reference: J. J. Provost et al, "The science of cooking", Wiley 2016; P. Barham, "The science of cooking", Springer 2001; H. McGee, "On food and cooking" Hodder & Stoughton 2004
Undergraduate level background in chemistry and physics
Office hours and How to contact professors for questions
  • Contact via e-mail,
    the e-mail addresses to Dr. Paolo Mele: pmele[at]
Regionally-oriented course
Development of social and professional independence
  • Course that cultivates a basic problem-solving skills
Active-learning course
Course by professor with work experience
Work experience Work experience and relevance to the course content if applicable
Education related SDGs:the Sustainable Development Goals
Last modified : Sat Sep 09 05:50:08 JST 2023