Middle School, Cooking & Food Science Science Projects (55 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. 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
"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
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A plate of spaghetti, meatballs, and marinara sauce is a delicious and comforting meal. It's also an inexpensive meal, because it only costs about $12 to feed a family of four. And it's easy to make when you're on the go and need to eat a quick, but healthy dinner. Just boil a big pot of water, throw in your favorite pasta, cook for 11 minutes, drain, and top with meatballs and warm marinara sauce. Quick and cheap! But sometimes it feels like forever when you are waiting for water to boil,… Read more
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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
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Has a milk-based soup, sauce, or gravy ever curdled on you (formed lumps) as you were preparing it? Curdling is the process of coagulation that occurs where the proteins in the milk clump together. Sometimes curdling is desirable—for example, if you want to make a delicious cheese or yogurt—but if you are trying to make a milk-based soup or gratin, or if you're adding milk to a hot drink, curdling is very unwanted because you lose the smooth, creamy texture. Nobody likes clumps and… Read more
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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
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The first bite of a fresh-picked apple, the crunch of morning toast, the deep cut into rich, flaky layers of baklava, the pleasing snap of a chip. Besides being delicious, what do these foods have in common? They're crisp. They have a brittleness that causes them to shatter in your mouth when you first bite into them. It's a sensation that many people enjoy. Making potatoes crispy requires some extra cooking steps, as you'll discover in this food science project, but the results are well worth… Read more
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Have you ever tasted a delicious burger and wondered how it got so much flavor? Maybe you have heard your family talk about marinating foods before cooking or grilling them. A marinade is a mixture of seasonings used to flavor or tenderize food. Most cooks have strong opinions about the best way to marinate their favorite food, be it a large steak or a tofu burger. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will run controlled tests to see what factors are most important in making a… Read more
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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
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Who doesn't love soaking up the last bit of gravy on Thanksgiving? Or dipping a crusty cube of bread into a cheese fondue? Or scooping up the thick juices from a fruit pie? Sauces make eating a joy! They provide concentrated flavor in a thickened liquid form, with a pleasing texture and consistency that carries or compliments the flavor of the rest of the food. No matter if they're salty, spicy, savory, or sweet, sauces make foods richer and more special. There are many ways to thicken sauces,… Read more
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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
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