Monday, January 14, 2008

gelatine for creamier gelati

A food scientist has suggested that peptides derived from gelatine, a common food ingredient, could serve to make frozen food last longer and keep ice cream soft and creamy. Read my story: Ice-cream without the crunch.

I really do believe that this is a very promising approach, as gelatine is such a cheap and cheerful starting material. However, the nerdy nitpicker in me insists on mentioning that the author of the paper exposed his scientific illiteracy when he wrote in the discussion:
"We hypothesize that these three oxygen atoms, which lie on a
plane, constitute the ice binding face of these gelatin peptides."
... and then went on for 2 paragraphs discussing the importance of the three oxygen atoms on a plane.

He should have known of course, that any combination of 3 oxygen atoms in the universe, or any 3 points, for that matter, lie on a plane. Unless they lie on a straight line as well, they also _define_ a plane. That's the reason why three-legged structures like easels can't wobble. So this "observation" doesn't prove anything, except that somebody didn't pay attention in their maths lessons. I am amazed that this got through peer review and into a journal published by the American Chemical Society.

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