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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 128 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 687 ratings

Start your review of The Science of Gastronomy

  • 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.
  • 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
    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 downloadable...
  • Anonymous
    Hi,
    This course really helped me learn new skills. It gave me better understanding about the food, it’s components and how it is prepared in a right way.
    The demonstration was really inspiring. The professors had made the topics so easy that I was able to absorb happily.
    This course would really help me in my daily life as well as if I work in any food industry. I love to learn food related lectures as I have taken food and hygiene level 2 course and food related other course from coursera as well. This would be my third course and fourth is in the queue.
    Thank You very much
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
    A lot of non-useful details. The language was also not good. Sometimes I didn't understand the lecturer. The assignments were OK in the beginning but later it started getting worse and worse
  • 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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 repeating...
  • Anonymous
    First of all, I am very happy that I finished this course. I was satisfied with the lessons and the teachers. Thank you for giving us such an opportunity. I learned very good information about the theoretical part of the meal. I would be very happy if there were more cooking lessons in this course. but it is beautiful as it is. Hope to see you in the next course.
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    The course is good, and worth of your time.
    You will sure learn a lot of useful knowledge and practical skills as well.
    There are some drawbacks, like the camera work and too much time is wasted in showing us people tasting foods which adds nothing to an online course.
    The theoretical teaching, however, is invaluable.
  • Anonymous
    Great course to better understand and have a grasp in the science of food and beverage. Good tutors, clear videos and easy to understand user-friendly notes. Beneficial for beginners and intermediate food students. Cooking part in videos can be improved.
  • Paula Adeline Pereira
    este curso me ajudou muito a conhecer cada detalhe sobre alimentos e preparação, com toda certeza me ajudara a dar ainda mais qualidade para meus pratos e novas criaçoes
  • Saima Bano
    right from introduction till the final exam, everything was wonderful and i got to learn a lot of things that will surely help me in my career as well.
  • Anonymous
    love it. the quest for knowledge is never ending a very satisfying, one that i love to take part in with as many people as possible.
  • Anonymous
    Very interesting how the brain interprets the signals sent for the sensors and how the sensors capture the different stimuli.
  • Anonymous
    The course content is very important for users who are in the food science and technology field. The content is very clear.
  • Anonymous
    There are some good information to learn.. definitely I recommend this course who wants to learn some tricks

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