Whether you’re making a meal or just enjoying a risotto, it doesn’t matter, there’s always something chemical going on in the kitchen. But beware, these are natural chemical reactions. All have impacts on the way we consume but they are not always well understood. To see more clearly, Laurent Mariotte invited, in the show The Table des bon vivant, on Europe 1, Christophe Lavelle, researcher at the National Museum of Natural History and at the CNRS. Here are six culinary misconceptions that science denies.
You can’t stop the fruit from turning brown
We all have in mind this grandmother’s trick which consists in placing a few drops of lemon on an avocado cut in half or an apple to prevent them from darkening, if we do not cook them right away. But does it really work? Why ? “So yes, it works, and we see it immediately when we do it,” notes Christophe Lavelle.
“As for the explanation, it comes from the fact that if it turns brown it is because it has an oxidation reaction. It is a phenomenon which takes place in contact with oxygen and therefore, an antioxidant is needed. to counter the effects. It is not difficult to find since most fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. But the most effective is lemon because it is rich in ascorbic acid, which is the most antioxidant. powerful that can be found naturally. ”
Is duck breast redder than chicken breast?
Nowadays, duck breast is redder than the white of poultry. “The difference is explained by the structure of the muscle fibers”, explains Christophe Lavelle. “The duck, a priori, still flies a lot of time. The hen does not fly too much and that has changed in the evolution of the animal. Conversely, in a hen, the thighs are dark because that they are very rich in myoglobin. Myoglobin is a bit like hemoglobin. We recognize a bit of the same vocabulary. It serves to provide oxygen. However, the hens spend their time walking. constantly need oxygen in their leg muscles and therefore their legs are rich in myoglobin. On the other hand, they use it more or almost more for the wings. Therefore, the muscle fibers of the latter have lost their concentration of myoglobin and turned white, while those of ducks that spend their time flying have remained red because they continue to be called upon. “
Absinthe Can Really Help Us Against Coronavirus
After Donald Trump’s hydroalcoholic gel to fight Covid, a new theory emerges: absinthe. “It’s an idea a little less crazy than it seems in reality”, procrastinates the scientist. “Absinthe is rich in plants called wormwood. And in these wormwood, we find a number of compounds including absintine which is part of the family of molecules in which we find chloroquine and which interacts with the virus responsible for Covid. ” So there is something to dig aside, but nothing has yet been established and would replace the vaccine.
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Everyone loves cilantro
“Not everyone likes coriander and for good reason, we are not genetically equal when it comes to this plant,” Christophe Lavelle analyzes. “There is a genetic component in our olfactory receptors. We do not express them all in the same way. In particular the one called ER6A2 which is sensitive to certain compounds that we will find in cilantro. So, people who have a lot of these receptors are too sensitive to cilantro. What makes that smell quite unpleasant, it reminds them of the smell of bedbugs. ” What to think twice the next time you add cilantro to one of your dishes.
Drinking water is useful when you have eaten a very spicy dish
When you eat a dish that is too spicy, one of the first reflexes is to jump into the water to calm the feeling of fire in your mouth. “This is a mistake because capsaicin, which is the molecule that gives chili peppers its heat, is not water soluble at all. It is what we call fat soluble. It needs fat to be captured. So, it is better to favor a glass of milk which is fatty than a glass of water “, advises the researcher at the National Museum of Natural History.
Eggplants and blueberries are useless for the eyesight
“It is said that eating eggplants and blueberries is good for the eyesight because of the concentration of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. Both are indeed good elements that interact positively with all the rods related to sight. Unfortunately, it would have to eat a pharaonic quantity to have results. ” But as Christophe Lavelle says “it can’t hurt.”