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Cooking & Food Science Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine if instead of spooning up a bowl of soup, a container of yogurt, or a cup of pudding you could just pick up and pop in your mouth a round, mess-free, ball-like blob of one of those. It might feel like snacking rather than eating a meal! In this food science project you can try exactly that. The simple step-by-step directions will lead you through trying a fun cooking technique called reverse spherification to turn yogurt into semi-solid balls, which are called "raviolis." How do you… Read more
FoodSci_p075
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Chemicals need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed for using a blender. All chemicals in this science project are safe to use (they are common food additives).
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you like to bake, this could be a good science project for you! Have you ever wondered about the purpose of each of the ingredients in your favorite recipes? For example, why is baking powder used in some muffin recipes? How does the baking powder affect how the muffins look, feel, and taste? In this food science project you will use a scientific method to find out! Read more
FoodSci_p007
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience with baking is helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: hot oven. Be sure to have an adult help when using the oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked muffins for breakfast on a Saturday morning! If you're into baking, you might want to try this project, which will give you insight into some of the chemistry that's going on in your muffin batter. You'll get some practical knowledge about substituting ingredients. Who knows, it may even get you started on the path to some new culinary inventions! Read more
FoodSci_p008
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience with baking is helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: hot oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Since ancient times, nothing has said "special" and "dessert" quite like cheesecake! The Romans even sacrificed their form of cheesecake, called libum, in religious ceremonies. Modern cheesecakes are more likely to be eaten at parties and at restaurants than used as sacrificial offerings, but no matter how they're enjoyed, all cheesecakes require some finesse in their baking and mixing to avoid common cheesecake faults, like cracking, collapsing, or failure to rise. In this cooking and food… Read more
FoodSci_p068
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required while using kitchen appliances and the oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever bitten into a beautiful golden-brown cookie only to realize in dismay that the bottom is burned and black? What causes that uneven baking? Can it be prevented? You can discover the answer by conducting a science fair project to determine whether different types of cookie sheets result in noticeably different cookies. First you'll need to do some background research to figure out what kinds of baking sheets you can buy. For example, there are aluminum, steel, insulated, and… Read more
FoodSci_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when baking the cookies.
Science Fair Project Idea
Fresh whipped cream is the final touch for many delectable desserts. One issue with fresh whipped cream is that it has to be used soon after it is made, especially if it is at room temperature, or it starts to collapse into goo. This is a problem for its use in frostings or inside pastries as filler. Whipped cream can be stabilized by adding unflavored gelatin. Stabilized whipped cream can be used at room temperature and it has a much longer life. But how much gelatin is just right? Try… Read more
FoodSci_p022
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Whipped cream that has been at room temperature for too long might spoil, so be cautious about eating it if too much time has passed.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Close your eyes for a moment and think about your favorite cake, pasta, and crusty bread. OK, you can open your eyes now, and please do not drool on your computer! What was the cake you pictured like? Was it light and fluffy? Did you imagine pasta with a silky, smooth texture? Was the bread you pictured wonderfully chewy? Did it give your jaws a workout? In this science fair project, you will explore an amazing substance in these foods, called gluten, and discover why these foods, all made from… Read more
FoodSci_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you have an allergy to wheat, you should not do this science fair project.
Science Fair Project Idea
You are looking under your bed for that video game you want to play, when you come across a real treasure—an open bag of potato chips that you forgot about! A crispy and salty potato chip is a tasty treat. But wait! This potato chip is not crisp and does not taste as great as it should. What happened? The chips have gone rancid! In this cooking and food science fair project, you will look into what factors turned your chips rancid. Read more
FoodSci_p052
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that people eat with their eyes as well as with their mouths? Food presentation—also called plating techniques or garnishing—makes food appear more appetizing. Checking out how the food looks is the cook's last task and the diner's first. Food that is well-presented is beautiful, colorful, and captivating. Not only does it make the diner really want to eat, but good presentation also allows the diner to identify the food ingredients, their quality, and the technique… Read more
FoodSci_p066
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the oven, stove, sharp knives, and kitchen tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, hot chocolate, lemonade... Yum! What do all these delicious treats have in common? Sugar. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar adds bulk, flavor, and structure to foods. But is it necessary to add sugar to achieve sweetness? Can the same sweetness be achieved using sugar substitutes like artificial or natural sweeteners? In this project, you will test sugar and sugar substitutes and compare the sweetness of each in relation to sugar. In the end, your day will… Read more
FoodSci_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Some specialty items needed,see Materials List for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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