nl en

Physics of cooking


h3. Contact

Coordinator: Albert Langedijk

h3. Description

Physics plays an important role in the science of cooking. For example in the solubility of solid substances in fluids, the transfer of heat, the viscosity of fluids, glass transition temperature of chocolate, etcetera.
In the course ’The physics of cooking’ the main focus will be on the following topics

  • The influence of different concentrations of liquid / liquid solutions on the cooking temperature

  • Thermal analysis of ingredients and processes

  • The viscosity of Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids

  • The surface tension of a fluid and the effect on bubble and foam formation

  • Mechanical analysis, e.g. stress-strain analysis of food

h3. Learning goals

Learning Objectives:
Student are able to:

  • Describe in their own words the physical properties of the ingredients they use in the kitchen

  • use mathematical formulas which describe the mechanical properties of food

  • use mathematical formulas which describe the thermal reactions in cooking

Final Qualifications:

  • Students know and understand the basic physical principles of cooking

  • Students can apply physical techniques in the preparation of food

  • Students can document and present results.

h3. Timetable
Period: September – January
Or: February - June

h3. Mode of instruction
Lectures, workshops

h3. Assessment method


h3. Blackboard
Blackboard will be used for communication and exchange of documents

h3. Reading list
Will be provided

h3. Registration

Registration with cv and motivation letter via Deadline for registration is October 15th, 2017.

This elective program can host max. 24 students. A basic knowledge in the natural sciences is required; students of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University and students from the laboratory educations of Leiden University of Applied Sciences are welcome to register. The following admission requirements apply: minimal 3rd-year university students or 3rd- or 4th-year HBO students that meet the entry requirements for a minor of their educational programme*.

There will be a selection procedure for students who meet the entry requirements. Therefore, students are required to submit a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter. In addition, the motivation letter should describe an idea for a food science experiment that the student would like to carry out. Selection is done by the teaching staff, in which the following criteria are important: study results, motivation, English skills, and forming a well-balanced, diverse group of students.

*For HLO students: the students should have their propaedeutic (1st year) diploma of the Bachelor of Biology and Medical Laboratory Research or of the Bachelor Chemistry at least 10 days before the start of the minor programme and should meet the regular entry requirements for a minor.