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Science Fair Project Idea
What is cooking? Cooking is applying heat to food in order to help make it taste good. But the decision to cook your food doesn't end there. Do you want to cook it at a low temperature for a long time or do you want to apply high heat and cook or sear it right away? You might think that a pot is just something in which to cook your food, but it is also a cooking tool. Pots and pans are made from different kinds of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, iron, and ceramics. Each of these… Read more
FoodSci_p031
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to cooking pots made of different materials.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Always exercise caution when using a stove. Adult supervision is required. Make sure that the cooking pots you have chosen to test are designed for stovetop use.
Science Fair Project Idea
Caramelization is the name of the cooking process that occurs as sugar is heated and the molecules begin to break apart. But what happens to the sugar as it breaks apart? And what do the physical changes mean for the flavor of the sugar? Using the Internet or cookbooks, read up on the chemistry of caramelization, then head to the kitchen with an adult to caramelize your own batch of sugar. With an adult's help, dissolve 1 1/3 cups of sugar in 2/3 cup of water. Heat the mixture in a pan over… Read more
FoodSci_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when making the caramel, it is extremely hot and can burn severely if it gets on your skin. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Whether you are sitting around a campfire, or drinking hot chocolate after a day in the snow, nothing says fun quite like a marshmallow! Even its name is soft and spongy! In this cooking and food science fair project, you will make your own marshmallows several different ways, and discover the three special ingredients that give marshmallows their unique texture. You will also find out why they melt so quickly. Explore the science of these sticky, spongy sweets! Read more
FoodSci_p065
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful when heating syrup in the saucepan. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you open a can of green beans, have you ever wondered why the beans are not mushy, or more like a puree? Canning requires boiling the beans for a long period of time to kill bacteria, so why don't the beans fall apart into small pieces? Some fruits and vegetables—like cherries, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes—have the ability to undergo hardening, or firming of their plant tissues. A special enzyme, called pectin methyl… Read more
FoodSci_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Maple syrup is deliciously gooey and great on breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles. But it has another amazing property. It can be turned into maple candies with a range of textures, like sticky maple taffy or molded maple sugar candy. In this science fair project, you will investigate how the temperature that maple syrup is heated up to affects what type of maple syrup-based candies can be made. Read more
FoodSci_p044
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "Slurp...plop!" Recognize that sound? You might if your family usually serves jellied cranberries for the holidays. Jellied cranberries are thick, like gelatin, and retain the shape of the mold in which it was placed, which might mean Aunt Sue's turkey mold or even the shape of the can if you buy one of the popular canned versions. Taking a bite of wiggly jellied cranberries can be a fun addition to a delicious meal, but cranberries can also be served as a sauce. Both versions use the same… Read more
FoodSci_p061
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult assistance is required to make the cranberry sauce on the stovetop. The process involves boiling cranberries, sugar, and water. This mixture is prone to splattering as the cranberries pop open. Use caution to avoid being burnt by splattering cranberry sauce.
Science Fair Project Idea
Brrrr, freezing cold! It's the worst nightmare of any fresh fruit or vegetable! If the produce in your kitchen had legs, they would run in a panic every time the freezer door opens. Why? Well, freezing temperatures are not kind to fresh produce. Freezing kills the plant tissues and alters them on both a chemical and physical level. Chemically, the enzymes in the produce become more concentrated and do not work normally, so that discoloration, off-flavors, vitamin breakdown, and toughness may… Read more
FoodSci_p035
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A specialty item to help view the structure of the vegetables is optional.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove and working around boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of successful inventions from the 1900's that have dramatically changed how people live, what comes to mind? The car? Radio? TV? The computer? What about the microwave oven? You might not remember a time when microwave ovens were not a standard part of most kitchens, but your parents or grandparents probably do. They can remember when heating leftovers took a good 30 minutes in a traditional oven. Or thawing a food from the freezer meant leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.… Read more
FoodSci_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a microwave oven and microwave-safe cookware.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the microwave oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Nut clusters, chocolate-dipped candies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries are just some of the delicious goodies that have a thin, rich layer of chocolate wrapped around them. But how do pastry and candy chefs make these delectable treats? The first step is to melt and temper chocolate. Tempering is a process in which the cocoa butter in chocolate is hardened into a specific crystalline pattern. When the cocoa butter molecules are in this pattern, the chocolate is shiny and breaks with a sharp… Read more
FoodSci_p038
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Use caution when using a stovetop. Hot chocolate can burn. Use care when working with hot chocolate. Adult supervision recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How does your family thaw and cook meat? Have you ever wondered if it is the safest way? In this practical science project, you can find out and shed light on safe practices in the kitchen by investigating how many viable bacteria are present in samples of meat that have been thawed or cooked using different methods. Read more
MicroBio_p015
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
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