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
How do you like your steak? The internal temperatures for beefsteaks at various levels of "doneness" are as follows: medium-rare, 145°F; medium, 155°F; medium-well, 165°F; and well-done, 170°F. What factors determine how long you have to cook a steak to reach the desired temperature? The temperature of the steak before you start to cook it will clearly be important. The temperature the steak is cooked at will also be a factor. And of course, the thickness of the steak will… Read more
FoodSci_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
Gelatin! It's hard to think of another food that is used as frequently on the dinner table as off. You can find it in all sorts of sweet foods, from ice cream, yogurt, and gummy bears, to marshmallows and yellow colorings for sodas. Off the table, it shows up in glues, photographic paper, playing cards, crepe paper, medicine capsules, hair gels, and professional lighting equipment. From the kitchen to the theater—what a range of uses! In this cooking and food science fair project, you'll… Read more
FoodSci_p047
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the knife and hot gelatin.
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
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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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
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
FoodSci_p029
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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
If you like to bake, this might be an interesting project for you. When you're following a recipe, do you ever wonder why certain ingredients keep showing up time after time (e.g., baking powder in quick breads)? Do you notice that certain ingredients tend to occur in a particular ratio to one another (e.g., amount of shortening and sugar, or amount of shortening and flour, or number of eggs and amount of flour)? What happens if you use more or less of an ingredient than the recipe calls… Read more
FoodSci_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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