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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Science of Gastronomy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

Overview

This course introduces several basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation, and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implications of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means, and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes. Following the video demonstrations of the scientific principles of cooking, you will learn to recognize the key ingredients and their combinations for preparing good healthy food. You will also be asked to try out and practice specific cooking principles through the weekly assignments; analyze your data and make comparisons of your experiences with others.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes.
- develop your own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes.
- recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses.
- appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining.

Important Note: This course is not designed for people with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, diabetic, and gluten-free diets. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the assignments or activities of this course, you can substitute some of the ingredients or ask friends and family members to help with the tasting of your assignments. Alternatively, you may skip that specific assignment if you have fulfilled all other qualifying requirements to pass the course.

Course Overview video: https://www.coursera.org/lecture/gastronomy/course-overview-43gyz

Syllabus

  • Orientation | Module 1: Energy Transfer
    • Before you start with the content for Energy Transfer, please watch the Course Overview, review the Grading Scheme, and read the Important Note on special dietary needs.
  • Module 2: Hunger and Satiety
    • This week, we will talk about Hunger and Satiety. There will be two interesting assignments for you to work on.
  • Module 3: The Sense of Taste
    • This week, we will talk about how food flavor affects our perception of taste. Again, there will be two interesting assignments for you to work on.
  • Module 4: The Sense of Smell
    • This week, we will talk about how the aroma of food affects our perception of taste. We have prepared one assignment on this topic for you to work on.
  • Module 5: The Sense of Sight
    • This week, we will talk about how the color of food affects our perception of taste.
  • Module 6: The Sense of Touch
    • This week, we will talk about how the texture of food affects our perception of taste. There will be two interesting assignments for you to work on.
  • Module 7: Fruits and Vegetables | Final Exam
    • This week, we will see how fruits and vegetables can enhance the quality of cooking. There will be one assignment related to this topic for you to work on. After completing all the content, it's time to test your understanding of the entire course. Take the final exam and help review this course. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course.

Taught by

King Chow and Lam Lung Yeung

Reviews

4.4 rating, based on 163 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 734 ratings

Start your review of The Science of Gastronomy

  • Anonymous
    This is one the most detailed courses I have seen.
    Very well delivered and fun. Lectures and visual aids are good and demonstrations are much appreciated as they aid comprehension of concepts.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very fun and interesting and I also learned a lot of facts. I had a lot of fun tricking my parents and telling my mom how to make her food even better!
  • Anonymous
    Professor goes beyond the normal course, has assistances that create a very great understand and yet entertaining method to do so. Great and fun course!
  • Anonymous
    Only three stars despite excellent contents (delivery for a paid option should be better) • The content is extremely interesting (I really found it fascinating) and it is clear that a lot of effort was put in preparing the course. Very good downloa…
  • Anonymous
    I went through all the 6 weeks (didn't pay for it so I just could take a look into the assignments). I felt disapointed since the beginning but it became worse from module 8 to the end. I will point out couple of reasons: - Too much time spent in re…
  • Anonymous
    This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes.
  • Profile image for LaDawn Jacoby
    LaDawn Jacoby
    I enjoyed this class very much. The course is very fun and hands-on. I learned a lot about food handling in preparation. And I'm happy to have learned a lot about food handling in preparation. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    This course has basic but very detailed and important contents. Assignments are fun to do. This course has helped me understanding the taste, smell, appearance, touch and texture of food.
  • Anonymous
    As some who's favortie subjects are science and the culinary arts, this class was amazing! Very imformaitve, fun hands-on home experiments, and interesting. I'll be training to become a Culinary Specialist in the Army and I believe the knowledge I've learned from this course will definitely benefit me. The instructor (and helpers) were great to watch and follow along with and I'd recommend this to others. Thank you so much!
  • Hala Saleel
    too lagging but an informative course, Great course. I learned a lot about food preparation and why we cook foods certain ways. The demonstrations were great and interesting. The instructors were very engaging and seemed excited about what they were teaching. The assignments were great in helping me to understand different things I learned in the lectures. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in food preparation.
  • Anonymous
    I had good learning lesson from it. I would like to revisit this course in the future. I got to learn many things about food, human habits, their composition and their reaction in our bodies. It’s nice to get to know what we eat in detail and depth. Thanks for the opportunity
  • Anonymous
    An exclusive session which has enhanced my knowledge more about gastronomy.All the sessions was well taught and the quizzes also helped us to gain more knowledge about culinary and its various fields.
  • Anonymous
    It is a really good course that you can follow for free. All the course materials were clearly explained with practicals and demonstrations by the instructor and his assistants.
  • Anonymous
    Nice experience to learn more things about the food we eat .very useful to know about the food which we eat.thanks for taking the lecture to know about the topic
  • Manishi Raturi
    The science of gastronomy is a very helpful and interesting course for all people interested in food sciences and other related subjects. It helps to clear perspectives about food products and the science and logic behind the basic cuisines we daily consume.
  • Iolanda Almeida
    Este foi um dos melhores cursos que já participei no Coursera. Recomendo vivamente!
    This was one of the best courses that I´ve enrolled in Coursera. I strongly recommend it.

    Obrigada pela oportunidade. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Tudo de bom! All the best, Iolanda Almeida.
  • Anonymous
    It was very engaging, sometimes he goes too much in detail into certain things.
    But overall very well done
  • Anonymous
    The course provided various aspects about food science like the principles of different cooking methods, how the body to scene the food thought different mechanisms.
    Also, it taught how to choose appropriate food and arrange ingredient to cook the delicious food.
  • Anonymous
    This course covered a lot more that what I was expecting when I first enrolled in. Its so detailed and science based. I'm a nutritionist, and I'm currently at a cuisine school to eventually become a chef and who knows, combine the nutrition with my cooking skills. This course actually helped me so much refreshing a lot of concepts that to be fair I didn't remember already, but it also gave me a lot more knowledge I've never heard about. I truly recommend this course to anyone who wants to know more about the science that happens every day in our kitchens.
  • Anonymous
    WOW! Never thought that there was so much science involved in gastronomy. This was not an easy course. A background (basis) in chemistry, physics and biology would be helpful. Demonstrations and assignments enhanced the learning experience. Slides were too crowded (too much information. As a rule there are six lines per slide and six words per line). English pronunciation should be improved. This also had an impact on the transcript which at times was incomprehensible. Recommended with the above caveats.

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