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Thanksgiving meals: Cooking with chemistry

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, here are some tips from the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society, on the some of the science behind holiday foods:

New study ranks cranberry number one in antioxidants An antioxidant comparison of some of the most common fruits found that the little red berry in its pure form contained the highest quantity of disease-fighting phenols, a type of antioxidant that is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease. The study represents the most comprehensive investigation to date of the quantity and quality of antioxidants in fruits, says lead researcher Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemist with the University of Scranton in Scranton, Penn. The study is scheduled to appear in the November 19 print issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Browner turkeys The golden brown color and roasted flavor of a turkey are from sugars and proteins reacting together, according to Sara Risch, an expert in food science and principal of the Chicago-based firm Science by Design. A turkey browns faster when its surface is exposed to dry air. To reduce the amount of browning, limit the amount of sugar and protein or cover food with foil, which slows down the rate of browning by keeping the air moist. This is one of the reasons that products cooked in the microwave dont brown they arent surrounded by dry hot air that is needed to hasten the browning reaction.

Perfect pies Consider filling your holiday pies with fresh berries, which can significantly reduce the buildup of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, a culprit that contributes to heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis, a form of arteriosclerosis. According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blackberries have the highest LDL inhibitory effect, followed by red raspberries, sweet cherries, blueberries and str
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Contact: Beverly Hassell
b_hassell@acs.org
202-872-4065
American Chemical Society
8-Nov-2001


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