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Promoting science through food, and food through science

Narrator:                  This is Science Today. Promoting the knowledge of science through food — and food through science — is the goal of the Science and Food program at UCLA. Graduate student Liz Roth-Johnson, a molecular biologist and blogger for the program, says students can learn how cooking alters the interactions of molecules and home chefs can take away some tips, too. 

Roth-Johnson:          If you've ever tried to make a vinaigrette, you've probably noticed that if you mix oil and vinegar together, inevitably they always separate from each other and that's because at the molecular level, oil molecules hate to be around water. They're what we call hydrophobic. So, you could add mustard or garlic to a vinaigrette and those ingredients have natural, special lipid molecules called lecithins, or phospholipids, and those molecules are like special fat molecules called amphiphiles — they love both fat and water molecules. And so those molecules can help bring together the fat in the oil and water molecules to help everything stay blended in the emulsion in your vinaigrette so things don't separate.

Narrator:                   For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.