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Food Science Experiments

These food science experiments are to teach kids about science in the kitchen. The activities are designed for kids to do with an adult's supervision and/or help depending on their age. We have two sections one for younger chefs and one for older chefs. Younger chef projects are great for elementary and preschool age.  However with an adult's help any age group would enjoy all the experiments in kitchen science.

Some basic science lessons when cooking in the kitchen are:
  • Discovering food groups
  • Making predictions
  • Experimenting
  • Learning how food grows
  • Learning how food changes while cooking
  • Working with five senses. Sensory exploration-with hands on and feeling the ingredients while cooking
  • For older kids, cooking can provide opportunities to predict, analyze and experiment.

We've gathered up and researched our own kitchen science experiments. Perfect for learning about science in the kitchen. 

Before you start going over what steps you will take. Always have kids make a prediction of what they believe will happen, even write it down. Once your experiment is over discuss whether or not they were right and why?
On this page:
Younger Chef Experiments

Older Chef Experiments
Grow your own experiments

Younger Chefs Food Science Activities

Blindfold Taste Test Food Science Experiment

Kids love to do the taste test experiment. They are often amazed that they don't always guess the right answer however. This is a good kids food science experiment to do when you are talking about 5 senses.

Have 3-5 different foods to taste test, whatever you can find in the kitchen.

taste test samplesWe had cheese, pears, yogurt, pretzel and chocolate chips for sampling.

Step 1: Blindfold whomever is doing the experiment and have them hold their nose so they can't smell the food.
Step 2: Have them predict what each food is as they taste it. Right down their answer.

Step 3: Take off the blindfold and compare the results.

Your senses work together. You use your sense of smell when tasting different flavors. So when you can't see the food or smell it, oftentimes you can't guess what you are eating.

This is why when you have a cold or you are sick foods often taste different.

Making Sugar Crystals

To form sugar crystals you will need:
1 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons water
food coloring
small bowls

In a measuring cup stir together sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Pour sugar water in small dishes dividing between them. Add different drops of food coloring to each bowl.

sugar crystal water

Let set 2-4 days.

days later sugar crystals

The water in your bowls will evaporate little by little each day and leave sugar crystals behind.

sugar crystals

More younger chef Food Science Activities

Apple experiments
Bean experiments
Cheese Souffle

Homemade butter
Homemade volcano
Jumping raisins
Poached egg
Shiny coins

World Studies Unitfood science
Get all of our Food Science Section in one ebook, free of ads and easier to use in cooking activities. The Ebook is included in the World Studies Unit
This unit has three ebooks Cook through History, Food Science Experiments and World Studies.

See more details on this World Studies Ebook Unit

Or go ahead and buy the ebooks and get started in your Kitchen Adventures

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Older Chefs Food Science Experiments

How to make cottage cheese

Here are directions and pictures on how to make cottage cheese. Did you ever wonder what curds and whey is? You'll also discover here what exactly curds and whey are. This is a simple method that tastes great and saves money.

To make homemade cottage cheese, you will need:
1 quart milk
1/4 cup vinegar
pinch of salt
~This makes about 1 cup or less so If you'd like to make a larger batch use 2 quarts of milk or more and change the measurements above accordingly.

Step 1: Pour your milk in a saucepan and using a thermometer heat to 190 degrees F.

heating milk

Step 2: Take milk off heat once it reaches 190 degrees and stir in vinegar.
Step 3: Let cool.
Step 4: With a strainer drain the whey, which is the liquid, off the curds, which is the cottage cheese.

curds and whey

Step 5: You can throw out the whey or use it for cooking.
Step 6: Add a pinch of salt to your cottage cheese and its ready to eat.
Step 7: If you like your cottage cheese creamy, stir in a tablespoon orless of cream.

cottage cheese

Science behind Cottage Cheese Making

When you add vinegar it separates the proteins in the milk which makes curds and whey.

Red Cabbage Ph Experiment Steps

  1. You need red cabbage leaves chopped.
    chopped red cabbage
  2. Place cabbage in a bowl and pour boiling water over the top.
    making red cabbage water
  3. Let cool.
  4. Drain cabbage and discard cabbage. Save the cabbage water.
  5. Take a note of the color of the water.
  6. Pour cabbage water in several small bowls.
  7. Find several different food items in the kitchen you'd like to test.
    experimentWe did this experiment with homemade yogurt, lemon juice and pickle juice.
  8. Drop a spoonful of a different food in each bowl and take note of the results.
    experiment results
    Here are our results.

More Cabbage Experiment Results

experiment 2 experiment results
Baking soda is a base so the water turns blue. Vinegar is an acid so the water turns pink.

More food science experiments for older chefs

Egg into a bottle
Homemade ice cream in a can or bag
How is chocolate made?
Make homemade yogurt
Proofing yeast and baking homemade bread
Sourdough bread starter recipe

Grow your own Experiments

Bean Plant
Carrot Top
Avocado Plant
Celery Stalk Experiment

Onion Sprouting
Pineapple Growing

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