February 16, 2016

Believe it or not? – Cooking is a Science

Dania Radi

That’s right, COOKING IS A SCIENCE and being a food lover, surprisingly provides you with a variety of chances to break into the STEM industry.

Just look at the latest inventions – the 3D Printer: Nowadays, food can be even printed. This development has the potential to revolutionize the production of food and opens diverse opportunities to boost culinary creativity, food sustainability and nutritional customizability.

One product in particular that is making waves in the food tech world, and that’s the “Foodini”. It is an automated meal-assembly machine which creates homemade meals faster than human hands. In contrast to the conventional 3D printer, which is using plastic paste for printing, this machine deploys eligible ingredients and can apply multiple printing-speed variations. However, this machine still faces difficulties in handling issues such as, diverse temperatures, melting points, different consistencies and textures.

Nevertheless, this invention stresses the influence of science and technology on food. Through this influence, currently some special supermarkets and restaurants have started to print customized desserts. So who says science and food are incompatible? The truth is even simple cooking is pure science. Therefore, not only for such inventions like the 3D food printers are STEM talents needed, they have always been an essential part of the food industry.


Source: Shutterstock Source: Shutterstock

Molecular Gastronomer

This job brings the scientific and the culinary world together. It is a discipline that looks for the mechanisms and phenomena occurring during the preparation of a dish and its consumption. In short, a molecular gastronomer, researches and trys to understand food processes. For instance what happens to food when it’s being cooked? Simply put the molecular gastronomer is responsible for the development of recipes, which enable people to create a delicious meal from a spectrum of ingredients. This is more evidence to suggest that cooking is a science. It is a simple mixture process of the right ingredients and out of that mixture something new can be developed. These specifically designed recipes ensure that this science is made understandable for all people. Besides, these recipes ease the task of cooking and provide safer food consumption. Through the molecular gastronomer’s analysis of the effects that cooking has on various ingredients dangers can be minimized.

Food Scientist

Food scientists are tasked with making sure the food you buy and eat meet the right quality and safety standards. Food scientists are occupied with the study of the physical, biological and chemical makeup of the food process, in order to improve food products. Thus, they play an important role in food production for the global market. Their job involves gaining as much knowledge as possible about necessary daily nutrition and the practical treatment of food materials to turn them into food products. Thereby, a food scientist can minimize the risk of food contamination and ensure good food quality. Testing products in laboratories, monitoring chemical and microbiological changes are all essential tasks of a food scientist. Additionally, they make specific tests to exclude pests, chemical contaminations, and zoonotic diseases like BSE.  They are also engaged in creating low-fat and ready to eat meals. Furthermore, their duty is to gain an understanding of the various behaviors of food compositions in order to develop the best possible nutrition combinations for human beings.


I’m sure you all know that most of the food we consume contains natural and artificial flavors. Well flavorists are mainly dealing with these artificial flavors to help improve the taste of our dishes. It’s essential that flavorists make sure that these added chemicals do not jeopardize the safety of food consumption. For this career path a chemical background is definitely necessary.

Food Styling

This job is also science in its own right, as it involves making food look delicious for photo and video shoots. Have you never wondered why for instance bananas in commercials look so appetizing? This is the magic of food styling. Having the ability to make things look pretty is not the only skill they need however, as deeper knowledge and understanding of food is vital. For instance, a food stylist is able to determine how long a product can be in bright light without spoiling or melting. They also know exactly how a recipe will work out by simply reading through the ingredients and then calculating the amount. A food stylist’s know how even goes so far as to knowing which recipe can be used for a television bakery show to successfully produce a cheese cake without cracks. In order to be able to predict such circumstances, a good understanding of chemistry is required. Therefore, people who want to become a food stylist need strong visual skills and a graphic arts background would be beneficial as well.

Feeling peckish now for a career in food and science? Well don’t wait around – go find your dream job. Get access to more than 2300 open job positions in the STEM area on Academy Cube.


Topics: STEM, Career, Tech