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Food Science

Learn about the science behind your favorite foods at HowStuffWorks.

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How Does String Cheese Get Stringy?

String cheese is a super popular snack with kids and adults. And it's stringiness can be a bit baffling, too.

What Is Sassafras and Is it Safe?

Sassafras has a long history of culinary, medicinal and aromatic use, but safrole, a toxic compound found in its essential oils, has been banned by the FDA because of its potential carcinogenic properties.

What Is Citric Acid, and Is It Safe?

Citric acid is added to everything from food to medicines to cleaning supplies. Although it occurs naturally, it's mostly manufactured from black mold. But does that mean we need to be worried?

Insect Ice Cream Could Be Coming to Your Grocery Store

Ice cream made with insect milk? A start-up in South Africa hopes you'll say, "Yes please!"

The Quest to Fix the Grocery Store Tomato

Grocery store tomatoes are all but flavorless anymore. A group of scientists is out to bring the ripe, red taste of summer back.

How Can You Tell if a Chicken Egg Is Fertilized?

Female chickens lay eggs whether they've mated with a rooster or not.

These Grapes Really Do Taste Like Cotton Candy

Craving some sugary sweet cotton candy? Then reach for these grapes instead. You'll be shocked at how much they taste just like the spun stuff.

Does Caffeine Increase — or Decrease — Appetite?

Nothing goes better with a cup of coffee than a sweet cupcake. But do you crave the two together or does that cup of joe actually make you hungry?

Can Science Explain Why Microwaved Coffee Tastes So Terrible?

People are passionate about coffee, and every connoisseur has an opinion about what to do when hot coffee goes cold. Reheating coffee's complicated.

Can Spicy Food Really Burn Out Taste Buds?

You may love the burn of food that's triple Thai hot, but do your poor taste buds?

New Aerosol Tea = #TeaHeresy

Yes, folks, tea has now joined the dubious list of products available in a spray can. Who's clamoring for this?

Mad Scientists Improve Chocolate With Electricity, Defy Nature

What if chocolate could be more delicious and healthier? Sound impossible? Researchers have managed to make the stuff of chocolate dreams a reality.

Diagnosing Chocolate's Quality with Ultrasound

Scientists have discovered a delicious way to use ultrasound to determine the best chocolate.

Some Chinese Restaurants Laced Food With Opium—What Would Happen if You Ate It?

Were dozens of restaurant owners in China wasting time trying to get diners to ride General Tso's white horse ? What would really happen if you ate opium-laced food?

Do food manufacturers manipulate taste?

Flavorists are enlisted by food manufacturers to concoct new and improved flavors for food. But how natural is the process?

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