Cotton Candy
Flavor of the Month

Cotton Candy

Summer would be incomplete without carnivals and bright, fleecy, sugary cotton candy. For a snack that’s nothing but sugar and air, there’s a surprising amount of physics and chemistry involved. Below are seven science-heavy facts about this feathery-light confection. Editor’s note: The original post stated that 1 ounce of cotton candy is 0.105 kilocalories, when in … Continue reading

Caramel
Flavor of the Month

Caramel

Caramel flavor is a major component of desserts and candies, ranging from smooth, thick sauces to crispy, dark brown glazes of crème brûlées. Through caramelization, a browning process where sugar is heated to around 170 °C and broken down, over 100 compounds are formed that contribute to the color, flavors, and textures of what we … Continue reading

“It’s all about sugar” – Barbara Spencer
Course Lectures

“It’s all about sugar” – Barbara Spencer

Barbara Spencer of Windrose Farm in Paso Robles was our lecturer on the topic of phase transitions.  “Why are carrots harvested after winter particularly sweet?” Plants use sugar as an internal antifreeze. This is an example of the concept of freezing point depression. When a solution freezes, the molecules into a crystalline structure. However, when … Continue reading