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  • Pizza is, without a doubt, the food of the gods.

  • Whether you keep it simple with a New York-style

  • slice of cheese or go for Chicago deep dish

  • loaded with ingredients, all pizzas deliver divine,

  • rich, cheesy, mouth-watering experiences that

  • hustle your brain’s pleasure centers into overdrive.

  • Although the ingredients may change,

  • all pizza tastes delicious thanks to a complex

  • chemical symphony of flavor and texture.

  • Today on Reactions, we want to give you lesson

  • in chemistry to help better explain the profound

  • beauty found deep within your favorite pie.

  • So let’s start with the dough.

  • Pizza dough is pretty easy to make and has the base

  • ingredients of flour, salt, yeast, and warm water.

  • The yeast is actually a living, single celled fungus

  • that you buy at the store in a dormant state.

  • It’s normally just called baker’s yeast, but that’s

  • just laymen’s speak for saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  • When all of these ingredients are mixed together,

  • and the yeast is hit with warm water,

  • it wakes right on up and starts to break down complex

  • sugars found in the flour, spitting out carbon dioxide

  • in return, and ultimately making the dough rise.

  • Once the dough is fully risen and formed into

  • a pizza shape, the sauce is then added.

  • Of course, there are all kinds of sauces but all

  • tomato-based ones have one thing in commonacidity.

  • Tomatoes are naturally between 4.0 and 4.6 on

  • the pH scale, but canned tomatoes can be even lower.

  • This is why some people out there end up getting

  • acid reflux from overconsumption of pizza.

  • To balance out an overly acidic pizza sauce,

  • some people add a tiny pinch of baking soda,

  • which is basic, making it an antacid

  • which helps neutralize the acid burn.

  • On the topic of acids, let’s get to cheese.

  • Cheese is basically a byproduct of adding acid to milk.

  • Milk is made up of proteins called casein and whey, as well as fats.

  • When acids are added, the casein coagulates to

  • form cheese, and separates from the whey protein.

  • To make the cheese stronger, cheese makers

  • add rennin which helps to keep the casein

  • molecules bound tightly together.

  • Cheese has historically been used as a way

  • to preserve dairy, but what makes the pizza

  • maker cheese of choice - mozzarella - different

  • is that it’s best eaten freshly made.

  • It is a super moist, soft cheese, which basically

  • means that when it’s heated up, it gets really

  • stretchy and adds in awesome texture

  • and mouth feel to your pie.

  • With the basics of pizza down, any pizza maestro

  • can finish their symphony off with their own

  • personalized mix of toppings. Different folks,

  • different strokes, but the final step and

  • most important is what goes on in the oven,

  • the place where all toppings become equals.

  • The first thing to be affected is the cheese.

  • When cheese meets heat, the fats in the cheese

  • change from solid to liquid, mozzarella stays

  • nice and stringy, because calcium ions help

  • to hold all of the casein proteins together.

  • Calcium, good for your bones and good for your mozzarella.

  • Then, when the pizza starts to properly cook,

  • the holy grail of culinary chemical reactions

  • begins: the maillard reaction.

  • At temperatures above 140°C, sugars react with

  • amino acids to create flavor compounds that give

  • food that distinct, bold, cooked flavor.

  • It also is known as the browning reaction

  • and it happens on the crust, toppings and cheese,

  • but to add to pizza’s complexity,

  • under the sauce and toppings, the dough is left

  • very soft and moist to give every bite

  • an interesting mixed texture.

  • Obviously, youve all the sudden got

  • the taste for pizza, so get your phone out

  • and dial the nearest pizza maestro,

  • but before you do that don’t forget

  • to hit the subscribe button there!

Pizza is, without a doubt, the food of the gods.

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B2 H-INT pizza cheese dough yeast mozzarella acid

The Chemistry of Pizza - Reactions

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    羅紹桀 posted on 2016/03/14
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