Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

The World's First "All Synthetic" Meal Graces a Five-Star Table

DiscoblogBy Boonsri DickinsonApril 21, 2009 3:21 AM
3288576484_d7c71ed816.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

French chef Pierre Gagnaire served up the world’s first "synthetic gourmet dish" in a restaurant in Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental hotel today. The meal began with an apple-lemon flavored appetizer—jelly balls made of a "combination of ascorbic acid, glucose, citric acid and a few grams of 4-O-a-glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol, a sugar substitute otherwise known as maltitol." The main dish, lobster fricassee, surely sounds yummy—the chef even described the entrée as "smooth, crusty and frosty." But the ingredients resemble a laundry list of chemicals you’re likely to find with a "Mr. Yuck" sticker. To top it off, the "lobster" was flavored in a special sauce made from tartaric acid, glucose, and polyphenols. For months, Gagnaire worked with the French chemist Harvé This—the co-founder of molecular gastronomy—to concoct this allegedly tasty, unnatural meal from scratch. Chemist-turned-chef This sees the potential for this new way of creating and cooking vegetable substitutes molecule-by-molecule as a way to end world hunger. Instead of buying veggies from the grocery store, chefs could instead mix together caroteniods, pectins, fructose, and glucuronic acid to whip up a carrot (esque) dish. The idea is solid, but what about the nutritional value of vegetables your mom probably nagged about? Perhaps we can get all the nutrition we need from these synthetic veggies, just so long as they’re packed with essential vitamins in the same way foods like boxed cereal are. But what about other essentials, like synthetic chocolate? Related Content: DISCOVER: Cooking For Eggheads

Image: flickr/Jenni232323

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In