Baking Chemistry: The Importance of Carbon Dioxide

Good chemistry key to good cakes: You lovingly labored over that cake for hours – and it fell. The chocolate chip cookies spread far and wide, and now they look like chocolate chip pancakes. Grandmother’s famous no-fail muffins suddenly failed, and those usually light-and-airy biscuits turned out brittle and hard as dried peas. There’s a simple reason for these baking disasters: berserk chemistry!

Wiki Answers: What is the Chemistry of baking?: There’s a lot of chemistry involved in baking. For instance, you might be using yeast and sugar in your dish. Yeast is a type of fungi that is able to convert the sugar you add into ethanol and carbon dioxide via what is known as a metabolic pathway. Metabolic pathways are the concern of biochemistry. I suppose that you’re using heat. In order to create a flame, you need a fuel (e.g. liquefied petroleum gas, wood, etc), a heat source (to start things up), and oxygen in order to produce heat, carbon dioxide, water vapor and a host of other products. The reaction itself is the subject of inorganic chemistry (and if you wanted to know how much heat was being produced, you would call upon physical chemistry to work its magic).

The Chemistry of Baking Cookies: Learn how making chocolate chip cookies is really a tasty chemistry project.

Alice’s Wonderland for Teachers: Baking Chemistry Activity.

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