Beaten egg whites in a glass bowl
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Today’s program will help you make better souffle or meringue. Though many people never think about it, cooking involves chemistry. Good cooks have a knowledge of chemistry, even if they have never studied the subject in a classroom.
Beating egg whites for souffle or meringue is a tricky business. The egg whites must be beaten in just the right way to make a good foam. Even if you get a good foam, if the egg whites are beaten too much, the foam will be ruined. Scientists report that when beaten, the proteins in the egg whites form complex, intricate molecules. More beating of the egg white begins to unravel these molecules and mixes them with air. The foam looks best, tastes best and holds its form best when the proteins are only partially unraveled. Too much beating will unravel them too much.
Researchers also found that beating the eggs in a copper bowl will produce a much better beaten egg white, although it takes twice as long as in a glass bowl. They learned that the egg white absorbs a harmless number of copper atoms from the bowl, making the foam chemically more stable. If you don’t have a copper bowl, a little cream of tartar will give the same effect.
We all do things every day that require knowledge of chemistry, physics and biology. This everyday scientific knowledge we all need shows us that science is a gift of God to all of us.
Notes: “Copper: Whipping Egg Whites into Shape.” Science News, Vol. 125, p. 296.
Photo: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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