Molecular Gastronomy: A Food Fad or an Interface for Science-based Cooking?

E. van der Linden, D.J. McClements, J. Ubbink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


A review is given over the field of molecular gastronomy and its relation to science and cooking. We begin with a brief history of the field of molecular gastronomy, the definition of the term itself, and the current controversy surrounding this term. We then highlight the distinction between molecular gastronomy and science-based cooking, and we discuss both the similarities and the distinctions between science and cooking. In particular, we highlight the fact that the kitchen serves as an ideal place to foster interactions between scientists and chefs that lead to benefits for the general public in the form of novel and high-quality foods. On the one hand, it can facilitate the implementation of new ideas and recipes in restaurants. On the other hand, it challenges scientists to apply their fundamental scientific understanding to the complexities of cooking, and it challenges them to expand the scientific understanding of many chemical and physical mechanisms beyond the common mass-produced food products. In addition, molecular gastronomy forms an ideal base to educate the general public about the basic principles of science and cooking and how they can be utilized to improve the awareness of the role of food and nutrition for the quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
JournalFood Biophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Experimental cuisine
  • Molecular gastronomy
  • Quality of life
  • Science-based cooking


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