I just received an alert today about a major review article on molecular gastronomy: Molecular Gastronomy: A New Emerging Scientific Discipline (DOI: 10.1021/cr900105w) is a British-Danish joint publication by Peter Barham, Leif H. Skibsted, Wender L. P. Bredie, Michael Bom Frøst, Per Møller, Jens Risbo, Pia Snitkjær, and Louise Mørch Mortensen. Peter Barham is a professor in polymer physics at the University of Bristol, author of The science of cooking and probably doesn’t need further introduction. The Danes are all associated with the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen and have a varied background in chemistry, food science, sensory science and psychology background. Check out the links to their individual profiles more info on projects and publications. Leif H. Skibsted and Michael Bom Frøst head several molecular gastronomy related projects. The Danish scientists also work closely together with Claus Meyer, chef at Meyers madhus and visiting professor at Copenhagen University, and Torsten Vildgaard, assistant head chef at Denmark’s gastronomic shining star Noma (which Claus Meyer started together with René Redzepi in 2004 – they were ranked 3rd in Restaurant magazines top 50 list for 2009, only surpassed by el Bulli and The Fat Duck).
Considering the impact factor of Chemical Reviews (ranked as a clear no. 1 among chemistry journals), this review will likely remain the review on molecular gastronomy for years to come – so you can just as well go ahead and read it. It’s got a whopping 53 pages and more than 350 references, and will be very useful for further studies and research. Oh, and the authors have opted for sponsored access, meaning that you can download the whole review for free!
Some curiosa as a post scriptum: Even though the above mentioned review is the most comprehensive academic treatment on molecular gastronomy to this date, the very first mention of “molecular gastronomy” in Chemical Reviews was in a review on platinum chemistry in 2005 (check out the full text search). When writing a review on platinum C-H activation chemistry some years ago with my supervisor I mentioned in the short author bio that besides my research activities I had “a strong interest in molecular gastronomy”. My supervisor prof. Mats Tilset then added to his bio that he had “a strong interest in practical gastronomy”. Even in serious journals there is room for a little fun 🙂