Chemical or Physical?

Chemical or Physical?

In the kitchen, chefs combine and alter food ingredients to create a finished dish. Some of these changes are physical—the food changes form, shape, and size, but the molecules that make up the food do not change. Other changes in food are chemical. When food undergoes a chemical reaction, a new substance is created. During a chemical change, bonds between molecules are created or destroyed. In this activity, you will classify different changes food undergoes during cooking as either physical...
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Eat a Water Molecule

Eat a Water Molecule

From Chemical Reactions!

We now know what the formula for water looks like. What does an actual molecule of water look like? How can we see something that small? Powerful X-ray machinery allows scientists to predict how the atoms in a molecule look. Let’s build a model so we can see, too.

Build the Eiffel Tower

Build the Eiffel Tower

From The Science and Technology of Marie Curie

Built in 1889 for the World Exposition, the Eiffel Tower honored the French Revolution. It also showcased national engineering and design expertise to an audience of global visitors. Originally intended as a temporary monument, it remains one of the world’s most visited landmarks. The structure of the tower itself is actually quite simple! To understand how its rivets and beams join, build a model of your own.

Make Your Own Mentos Explosion

Make Your Own Mentos Explosion

From Kitchen Chemistry

Chemical reaction or display of physical force? Try this experiment with candy and soda and see what happens.

Point A Masterpiece

Point A Masterpiece

From Explore Atoms and Molecules!

Does pointillism really work? Create your own pointy artwork to find out.



“One of the best ways to get kids excited about STEM is to show them how every aspect of daily life is intrinsically connected to science and technology. The reliable Inquire and Investigate series takes on this task by offering titles brimming with information...”
-Booklist Series Nonfiction Showcase

"A fun introduction to cooking and food investigation for middle grade students. The book can easily be adapted for classroom use or specific project research."
-PSLA Literature Review

"After reading this three volume set from Nomad Press I understand how the scarecrow felt after getting his brain. I’m a lot smarter and it was fun getting there!"
-Greg Pattridge, Always in the Middle

“A well-rounded winner of a book for the young food science enthusiast that is sure to please even the pickiest academic palette.”
The Children’s Book Review

Detailed Book Description

Why does tomato sauce taste different from fresh tomatoes? Why does pasta go limp when you cook it in boiling water? What makes ice cream melt?

What better place to learn the fundamentals of chemistry than in the kitchen? In The Chemistry of Food, kids learn the science behind the food they love to eat as they explore the chemistry within the meal, how nutrition works, what creates flavor, and why texture is important. This book offers detailed explanations of five ways chemistry is part of the food they eat.

Hands-on, science-minded investigations, links to online resources and media, career connections, and text-to-world questions all create a delicious learning experience. Plus recipes!

Try these hands-on chemistry projects!

  • Use salt and ice to make ice cream
  • Discover what food additives are in your kitchen
  • Find out how starches work
  • Solve the mystery behind the color of cola
Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Charts | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Chemistry
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Periodic Table

A Tasty Experiment

Chapter 1
The Chemicals in our Food

Chapter 2
Cooking: A Chemical Reaction

Chapter 3
Nutrition: What Makes Food Healthy?

Chapter 4
Flavor: Mixing It Up

Chapter 5
Texture: What Food Feels Like

Metric Conversions
Selected Bibliography