Food Science books for food lovers

Christmas is approaching, and soon we will be looking for inspirations and ideas for our holiday gifts.

I obviously love gifting food to my loved ones, and since I live in the UK and am also very often in Spain, whenever I go back to Italy, I bring back something typically Spanish or English.

Another thing that I love gifting is books, and since most of my friends are academics and geeks, they always appreciate a good popular science read.

 So here is what I want to do today: if you are a food science lover and you want to read more for fun for yourself, or you are looking for the gift for a food scientist, especially if those are scientists who read (and not just research papers), then have a look at my food technology book list. Please, keep in mind that this is not a list of textbooks on food science and technology; however, if you are looking for a pleasant and exciting quick read during the holidays, these titles might help.

Gastrophysics – Charles Spence

Charles Spence is an Oxford professor, and he has been studying aspects related to sensory and consumer behaviour for a while. He has been working with many chefs, some Michelin starred ones too. This book presents exciting insights on how food is preparred but also focusing on the factors that influence the customers eating experience . He makes an interesting point on the weight of cutlery and how that affects the perception of food as well as how the background music can modify our eating experience. This book is an excellent read for those who want to know more about how we experience food and how the external environment can influence your eating experience.

Future Foods – David Julian McClements

Prof McClements is a very well-known professor of Food Science, and in this book, he tries to highlight the most up-to-date advances in food science, from food architecture, novel meat science, nanotechnology to insect foods. Some of these strategies and technologies could help solve food waste, sustainability issues, food supply, and creating healthier foods.

The Food Lab – J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

The author focuses on American dishes and looks into the effect of standard processes like cooking on food components. But it is not just about the chemistry of foods; Kenji, in fact, suggests some easy-to-use techniques to improve the appearance, taste, and texture of foods. A good read if you love cooking too.

Neurogastronomy – Gordon Sheperd

Gordon Sheperd is a neuroscientist, and he takes us on a journey through the mechanics of smell and how the brain constructs the perception of flavour. He analyses how flavour can engage with different brain regions and have a role in social, behavioural, and medical aspects as flavour can engage with the brain and control emotions, cravings, and food preferences.

On Food and Cooking – Harold McGee

This book is perhaps a classic for some of you foodies, and its first edition was published more than 30 years ago. The text has been developed and implemented since its first edition and what you will read here is an in-depth insight on foods, from the many ways they can be prepared to the many ingredients and mechanisms that we can use to develop flavour and taste, to novel technologies and trends such as molecular gastronomy. A perfect gift for someone who loves cooking (and perhaps doesn’t have a food science background but just a strong interest).

Now, the only thing you will need to do is finally enjoy the incoming holidays, schedule some time off-screen, and read a good book.

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