fructose and a glucose residue; then activated fructose reacts with other simple sugars forming long
chain called “fructose dianhydrides”. At the same time, some molecules are disrupted, forming odorant
molecules responsible of the characteristic odor, and brown molecules are also formed. As caramel
theory let think, sucrose is not the only sugar to make caramel: in the kitchen, glucose caramels,
fructose caramels, etc. can be done using respectively glucose, sucrose, etc. The tastes, odor, flavour
are different, giving more possibilities to cooks.
Inventing new dishes
In culinary circles, innovation is highly praised: the French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
even wrote that “the discovery of a new dish contributes more to the happiness of human kind than the
discovery of a new star”.ii This idea is appealing, but it would be too easy to reach human kind
happiness in this way!
Nevertheless it is clear that demand is not fully satisfied by traditional cooking, in the rapidly evolving
world where we live, with travelling consumers, which try new experiences. Novelty is a factor of
success. Hence the question: how can we innovate, in the kitchen?
First it has been stressed that this need for innovation is paradoxical, as the human kind is, as their
non human primates relatives, equipped with “food neophobia” (we do not eat what we do not know),
a way to avoid poisonous food from the environment. However we would be bored by the same food
served every day, because we also have a tendency to forage, and discover new possibilities in our
environment. Hence the difficult job of food technologists, which have to introduce new dishes, but not
too new. The novelty, in food, has to be within limits.
Those days, some “technological chefs” make a technological transfer, from industry to the kitchen,
and they use agar or alginates instead of gelatine, flavours instead of fruits…iii Another way it to look
for technological applications of science, either chemistry or physics (molecular gastronomy), or