Middle School Cooking & Food Science Science Projects (46 results)

Who doesn't love food? It's fun to make, it's fun to eat, it's fun to ...study? That's right! There is a lot of science that goes into the everyday foods that you love. Try one of our food science projects to explore questions such as how baking ingredients work, how and why certain ingredients mix well together, and why people's tastes differ.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Here's a riddle for you: What would a latté be without a froth of bubbly milk on top? Answer: Black coffee! And how about a pumpkin pie without the whipped cream? Answer: Sad. Delicious, edible foams are everywhere, from sodas, meringues, and soufflés to mousses and whipped creams. They provide a delicious, spongy contrast to the foods they accompany, and their airiness releases aromas that enhance the eating experience. So, what makes a good foam? One with high volume and lots of… Read more
FoodSci_p057
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to buy items from a science supply store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure to wear safety goggles. Wash your hands after handling raw eggs. You should not eat any of the foams you make in your experiment.
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
Here's a project idea for all of you bakers out there. What happens if you try your favorite muffin recipe with different types of flour (e.g., white, whole wheat, rye, soy, etc.)? Think of ways you can measure the results. How would you measure the density of a muffin? A kitchen scale would definitely be useful for this project, both for measuring the results and for portioning out the batter for equal-sized muffins. What other measures might be of interest? (Nakajima, 2005) Read more
MatlSci_p029
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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
Have you ever bitten into a slice of bread only to find that it no longer seems fresh? Instead, it has the firm, undesirable texture that comes about when the bread is going stale. Chemically, what happens during the staling process? Can it be reversed (at least temporarily)? Do some background research to answer these questions and then apply those answers to one (or more) of the following experiments to find the optimal state to keep your bread fresh. Experiment 1: What Temperature Keeps… Read more
FoodSci_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You know that sugar makes food sweet, but did you know that there are different kinds of sugar? Sucrose is the granulated sugar that you usually use for baking. Another kind of sugar, which is found in honey and in many fruits, is glucose. In this science project, you will measure the concentration of glucose in a variety of foods. You will use special test strips that change color in response to glucose to measure the glucose concentration in different foods. Read more
FoodSci_p049
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A Sugar Metabolism Kit containing most of the specialty supplies needed for this project is available from our partner .
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Forget drinking your juice. Instead, try snacking on it! Use the steps and recipes in this food science project to transform drinks into semi-solid balls that pop in your mouth. The technique is called spherification and it is part of a larger food science trend called molecular gastronomy— but we just call it yummy science! Read more
FoodSci_p074
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Chemicals need to be specially ordered. Specialty items may be purchased from our partner . See the Materials section for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed for using a blender. All chemicals in this science project are safe to handle and eat (they are common food additives).
Science Fair Project Idea
Sometimes on a busy day, it is hard to get things done. The rush to get things done can start first thing in the morning, when you are so busy getting ready and gathering your homework, that you barely have time for breakfast. It takes time to get a nutritious meal ready. But, eggs are a perfect choice for breakfast because they can be cooked quickly and in many different ways. A soft-boiled egg is a choice that many people make. They like the way the thickened, tasty yolk coats their hash… Read more
FoodSci_p046
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to a stove top
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Exercise caution when working with a stove top. There is a chance that eggs can carry a bacteria called Salmonella. Salmonella can cause severe food poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention () recommend avoiding eating eggs unless the whites and yolks are both firmly cooked. For this reason, we do not recommend eating the soft-boiled eggs in this science project; just make observations. If you would like to eat them, consider doing your science project with pasteurized eggs.
Science Fair Project Idea
You know there is sugar in non-diet soda, but just how much sugar? Sure, you can look on the ingredients label, but how do food scientists actually measure the amount of sugar in a solution? They use a simple scientific device called a hydrometer. The hydrometer floats in the solution that is being tested, and the higher it floats, the more sugar there is! In this science fair project, you will use a precision hydrometer to measure the amount of sugar in soda. Read more
FoodSci_p056
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A precision hydrometer is required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution, as the hydrometer could break into sharp pieces of glass if dropped.
Science Fair Project Idea
You're probably familiar with sauerkraut, a German dish of cabbage that is fermented in a brine made of its own juice and salt. Have you heard of another cabbage dish, called kimchi? Kimchi is a traditional fermented cabbage dish from Korea. Koreans eat kimchi year round, enjoying its spicy taste and the fact that it contains loads of vitamins B and C. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will make kimchi from scratch and investigate changes in pH and glucose as the kimchi… Read more
FoodSci_p051
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: To obtain traditional Korean spices, you might have to go to an Asian market. But you can use commonly available substitutes, if desired.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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