Segments in this Video

Science of Food (02:14)


Chef Paul West investigates the chemistry and physics behind various foods. He works with chemist Dr. Noby Leong and dietician Clare Collins.

Banana Farming (07:31)

West travels to a banana farm in Tully, Queensland that takes biosecurity seriously. Cavendish bananas are a variety of bananas chosen for taste, yield, and disease resistance. Over 90% of all bananas sold in Australia are Cavendish, making them vulnerable to disease.

Bottled Food (03:08)

Australians eat 100,000 tons of canned fruit a year. Collins learns about the tradition of bottling to preserve the nutrition of fruit in Victoria. Salt and sugar are added to create a hostile environment for bacteria.

Canned Food (08:15)

Collins investigates whether industrial fruit canning preserves nutritional value and shelf life the same as bottling. Canned baked beans start as dried beans, which are rehydrated and blanched. The sauce provides Vitamin C and phytonutrients.

Barbecue Flavor (03:43)

Leong learns the math and science behind grilling the perfect steak. Steaks are usually loin cuts, rich in muscles that conduct heat and release myoglobin. Red meat can be cooked in ways that retain iron.

Banana Genetics (07:40)

Cavendish bananas are no longer disease resistant because of cloning. West visits a research facility attempting to create a new disease resistant banana variety.

Barbecue Texture (04:14)

Leong hosts a barbecue to share the science behind the texture of grilling steak. Myosin and actin in the muscles contribute to the tenderness of a steak.

Gluten in Sourdough (07:17)

West meets Dr. Kate Howell at a bakery to learn how gluten works. Sourdough has longer fermentations and more microbes than other types of bread. Long fermentation retains gluten's structural abilities but makes it more digestible.

Vegetable Cooking (05:53)

Leong and Collins show how a simple change in cooking styles can preserve the nutrients in vegetables. Broccoli retains more Vitamin C when microwaved than when boiled. Microwaves use thermal energy to evenly cook food.

Ancient Grains (06:50)

People have been making bread in Australia for thousands of years. West visits ecologist Dr. Jack Pascoe in Cape Otway learn about the grasses in ancient breads.

Credits: "Catalyst: How Your Food Works - Part 1" (00:22)

Credits: "Catalyst: How Your Food Works - Part 1"

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Catalyst: How Your Food Works - Part 1

Part of the Series : Catalyst: How Your Food Works
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this program, chef Paul West, dietician Clare Collins, and chemist Noby Leong examine the chemistry, biology, and physics of food, looking at Australia's Cavendish banana and the cultivation of a new disease resistant variety; at the how the traditional craft of fruit preservation is supersized in the production of canned baked beans; and at the science of cooking the perfect medium rare steak. They also discuss the science of gluten in slow fermentation sourdough bread.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL283733

ISBN: 979-8-88678-602-6

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.