What is molecular cuisine and what are its advantages?

Have you heard about molecular cuisine? In this article we tell you what this innovative technique is all about.

Last update: May 28, 2022

Molecular cuisine is here to stay with its color, science, smoke and art! It is a style that has conquered the best chefs in the world to offer products of the highest quality and with perfect finishes. It has its origin in the combination and meeting of culinary art with science.

It is based on the investigation of the transformations that food undergoes at a chemical and physical level to enhance its organoleptic properties. This style uses technological innovations to apply them to food and achieve dishes with a higher level of preparation.

History of molecular cuisine

The first steps of molecular gastronomy were taken in 1969. The researcher and physicist Nicholas Kurti gave a conference called The physicist in the kitchenin which he expressed deep sadness, saying that while we measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus, we ignore the temperature inside the soufflés.

Molecular gastronomy emerged in 1988 as a scientific discipline thanks to the work of Nicholas Kurti and Hervé This, who defined it as a scientific exploration of culinary, which evaluates the transformations of food. This is what the book says Handbook of molecular gastronomy by Mariana Koppmann.

In this sense, it has served to understand the reason for many culinary phenomena and improve techniques to preserve the properties of food. In fact, integrates knowledge from different areas of knowledge, such as chemistry, physics, anthropology and biology.

This type of cuisine became popular in France, especially since 1990. Since that time it has been integrated into the cuisines of the world. Although it sounds like a strange and specialized type, vacuum packaging and the use of the machine Thermomix They are already part of molecular cuisine.

Professional gastronomy evolves and part of the transformation is attributed to molecular cuisine and the knowledge it brings.


Characteristics and techniques of molecular cuisine

Molecular cuisine is based on making the kitchen part of a laboratory. One of its main characteristics is deconstruction, since it seeks to undo, recompose and apply various techniques to explore the textures of food.

It also aims to ensure that diners enjoy an experience beyond flavors. For this reason, it innovates with the plating and presentation. Likewise, it is usually signature cuisine, but it is also possible to apply it at home.

Nitrogen deep freezing

In recent years, liquid nitrogen ice creams have become popular. It is a technique that uses this gas in a liquid state, which is kept at -19 degrees Celsius to prepare cold dishes, especially jellies, ice creams and desserts. Nevertheless, it also works for creamy textures with hard coverage.

Basically, the food is submerged in a kind of freezing cauldron. However, nitrogen is a difficult gas to handle, and not handling it correctly can have dangerous consequences. For this reason, it is a technique that should be used by specialists and professionals.

spherification

This is another technique that has become very popular in haute cuisine restaurants. It is about turning liquid foods into small gel spheres.

They are obtained from the use of sodium alginate and calcium chloride. This technique, in addition to preserving food so that it generates an explosion of flavor in the mouth, has also been used in cocktails.

Lyophilization

It is a process that removes water from food, drying them under vacuum and at low temperatures. In the first place, the freezing is done and then the water sublimates, because it is introduced into a vacuum chamber.

The best thing is that it maintains up to 98% of the properties of food. It is usually used with cereals and fruits.



3D printer

This is one of the most modern techniques of molecular cuisine. Allows you to print food with different shapes.

The raw material is usually chocolates or pastes. So, it is an invention that is taking the world of confectionery to another level. Likewise, edible paper can also be printed.

vacuum cooking

This type of molecular cuisine technique is used for cooking meat and vegetables. To get it, the food is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and is cooked in this package with a constant temperature. For this reason, it allows the preservation of meat juices and maintains its tender texture.

Foam creation

This technique is relatively easy. For this reason, it is often used in many restaurants.

Consists of the consequence of foams from different foods, through the use of special machines that combine food stabilizers and starches. In most cases, a soy derivative called lecithin.

Soy lecithin is chosen to generate foams that decorate and complement the presentation of the dishes.

Advantages of molecular cuisine

You may have already noticed it with the description of the techniques; molecular cuisine has great benefits. First, allows to enhance the flavor of food and, depending on the technique, preserve the properties of the nutrients.

Fried foods are not made and flour is not usually used, so it is an appropriate type of cuisine for celiacs.

On the other hand, it allows you to create innovative recipes with a very artistic and non-traditional aesthetic. As we have already mentioned, it is ideal for obtaining striking textures. For this reason it is said that it creates taste experiences beyond a simple meal.

Finally, through its techniques, the shelf life of food can be extended. With vacuum packaging, drying and freeze drying, foods can be preserved longer without losing nutrients.

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