May 28, 2014

Science is all about understanding, creating and discovering new things. Food is what we eat; while to some; it is a source of energy and of being healthy, to others it is an art. When someone tries to analyze the physical, chemical and biological properties of food and tries to reason out the output of ingredients; we get what is called “Food Science”. Food Science is the applied science devoted to the study of food. It is related to understanding the principles underlying food processing, nature of food, causes of spoilage, etc.

The Department of Culinary Arts has its own Food Science club - C.A.K.E.- Creation, Analysis, Knowledge and Education, initiated by Mr. Gyanavel Ravindranath and Ms.  Saavni Krishnan of 2nd year B.A.Culinary Arts early this year.  Starting with only its two founder members, this club now has 20 members with the experience of Mr. Prabhakar Sastri to support them in various experiments. The main aim of the club is not only to carry out scientific experiments on food but also to understand why certain changes take place in food when cooked, backyard farming, tasting, sensory evaluation, etc.  Till date the C.A.K.E. Club has performed several experiments such as creating culinary foam without the use of Nitrogen canisters, spherification, reverse creaming methods of cake, an experiment on maximizing the extraction of milk solids, emulsions of different liquids, etc.  The club has also conducted two sensory evaluation sessions - one being between cakes made using the regular creaming method and the reverse creaming method and the other for the extraction of milk solids.

The upcoming exercises of the club will be on getting the perfectly cooked chicken owing to brining, “spice tasting” where each member will be given 3 to 4 forms of a particular spice and will have to evaluate it according to the parameters set, starting a small kitchen garden where herbs will be grown using different kinds of manure and many more. The students are expected to reason out the development/conclusion of the experiment and this is done through discussions held in classrooms.  The club also plans on organizing guest lectures; where experts from different domains of gastronomy would come and share their knowledge. Apart from this, students will perform certain research and make reports. The idea of doing so is because by reading one excels intellectually and storing it in the form of reports results in retention of what is learnt and also helps the future batch-mates in improving their abilities.

The venture started on a respectable note and this wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution of each member of the club. The club gives freedom to all members to conduct any type of experiment, innovation as they like.  A report of the particular task or experiment is required to be made and shared with the students of the institute.

The club is open to innovative ideas since it believes that a mind should always think out of the box and that the spread of knowledge and urge of learning should never stop. Once it does, the mind gets stagnant.