61 votes
Accepted

Can we fill potato chips bags with a gas other than nitrogen?

As Nilay Ghosh said, nitrogen is cheap. Very cheap. Neon is expensive. Argon is cheaper than neon, but considerably more expensive than nitrogen. Helium is also expensive and needs to be used wisely, ...
Ed V's user avatar
  • 5,050
51 votes
Accepted

What causes the "rotting fish smell"?

The "fishy" odor that you're familiar with is brought about by a whole bunch of compounds, and not any single one. Then again, if we were to narrow this down a bit, we could say that simple nitrogen ...
paracetamol's user avatar
  • 18.6k
48 votes

Can we fill potato chips bags with a gas other than nitrogen?

Not mentioned yet: nitrogen is entirely non-toxic, environmentally friendly, does not contribute to global warming or ozone depletion. In very good approximation, nitrogen is just air with the oxygen ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 869
47 votes
Accepted

Why does lemon juice reduce the "fish" odor of sea food — specifically fish?

There are two cases, both related to acid-base reactions. Both are also partial reasons why so many fish recipes use lemon juice. Fish, especially sea fish, naturally contain trimethylamine-N-oxide $\...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 41.3k
44 votes
Accepted

Why does whipped cream use nitrous oxide instead of nitrogen gas?

There are two ways to efficiently make an aerosol product: Use a gas that liquifies under the pressure inside the can. For example, butane lighters. Nitrogen is one of the "fixed gases", meaning it's ...
alphonse's user avatar
  • 1,217
33 votes
Accepted

Sugar solutions have a neutral pH in themselves, but it makes your body acidic. Why?

It is not proven that "sugar makes your body acidic"! Your body's pH is very tightly regulated by the body's internal systems; it is also different in different parts of the body - the stomach is ...
Waylander's user avatar
  • 22.3k
32 votes
Accepted

Raw green onions are spicy, but heated green onions are sweet. Why is this?

Onions caramelize, becoming sweet as various complex saccharides are broken down to more "tasty" sugars. For instance, in onions, green (scallions), yellow, red or other, chains of fructose ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

What substances do humans consume that are caloric but neither protein, carb, nor fat?

If you go to https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:01990L0496-20081211&qid=1580028914722&from=EN you will see a fairly extensive list of caloric compounds (screenshot ...
theorist's user avatar
  • 12.1k
29 votes

Why does whipped cream use nitrous oxide instead of nitrogen gas?

According to Nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and their mixtures as propellants, Proc. Chem. Specialties Mtrs. Assoc., June 1950, page 45, William Strobach, $\ce{CO2}$ and $\ce{N2O}$ are both suitable ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 40.6k
29 votes

Can we fill potato chips bags with a gas other than nitrogen?

Substances that are gaseous down to, say, -10 are finite (and not very large) number. Of these, we want: Safe against ignition (so no hydrogen or gaseous hydrocarbons) Not poisonous (phosphine, arsine,...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 815
28 votes

The importance of the cold chain in the food and the pharmaceutical industry

Avoiding cooling again after keeping it (for noncritical products) at room temperature is mainly to prevent forgetting it was not cold all the time and that it may not last as long as expected. Taking ...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 41.3k
26 votes
Accepted

What gives fresh milk a yellow tinge?

The main substances that cause the yellowish color of the milk are carotenoids [1]. The main carotene involved is the beta-carotene coming from the feed that cows eat. Some studies have been carried ...
G M's user avatar
  • 9,069
26 votes
Accepted

Are food calorie values really integers?

They're not exact numbers. These numbers aren't exact for three reasons: Each type of carb, protein, and fat has a different caloric value. These are overall averages for each class. Even if you ...
theorist's user avatar
  • 12.1k
25 votes
Accepted

How would I measure the Carbon Dioxide content in Coca Cola over a period of time?

Measure the change in mass over time of the remaining liquid. Though some water will also evaporate, you can control for that by keeping the humidity near 100%. If you have to be precise, collect the ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Is there a difference between NaCl or table salt (processed) and salt from the Himalayas?

No salt will be pure NaCl. Each will have some degree of other elements. The fact that the salt isn't white confirms there are other elements present. See Analysis of Gourmet Salts for the ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 40.6k
24 votes
Accepted

Why do raisins bob up and down in carbonated water?

The raisin has nucleation sites on it that allow bubbles of $\ce{CO2}$ to form. The raisin is light enough to be lifted by the bubbles as they push their way to the surface. As the bubbles are ...
ringo's user avatar
  • 24k
24 votes
Accepted

Why do green bell peppers become bitter when cooked?

Thousands of different chemicals, previously spatially separated, are mixed together after the thermal death of cells and kept at high temperatures to react well. The final taste will depend on the ...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 41.3k
22 votes

If capsaicin is insoluble in water, what makes chilli water taste spicy?

You got me curious, so I poked around a bit on this. First there is insoluble and then there is insoluble. The Wikipedia article on capsaicin lists its solubility as $\pu{0.0013 g}/\pu{100 mL}$ ...
MaxW's user avatar
  • 22.2k
22 votes

Chilling water in copper vessel

Do not do it !! ( putting acidic, or rather any juice to copper bottles ) You are in danger of copper poisoning. Generally, by food processing laws, copper is not allowed to be in direct contact ...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 41.3k
22 votes
Accepted

The importance of the cold chain in the food and the pharmaceutical industry

Answer here from a quality manager in the pharmaceutical field in Europe. Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to perform stability tests for their products according to the relevant pharmaceutical (...
Julian's user avatar
  • 416
20 votes
Accepted

How long would it take for sucrose to undergo hydrolysis in boiling water?

This is a nice well-defined question, and luckily there is excellent data for which we can provide a quantitative answer. Richard Wolfenden's research group has sought for many years to characterize ...
Curt F.'s user avatar
  • 21.9k
19 votes

Why do the physical properties of an egg shell change when the egg shell is exposed to vinegar for a week?

It doesn't make calcium carbonate rubbery, it removes the calcium carbonate. Egg shells are not purely calcium carbonate they are more like a composite with a continuous matrix of calcium carbonate ...
A.K.'s user avatar
  • 12.5k
19 votes
Accepted

If LPG gas burners can reach temperatures above 1700 °C, then how do HCA and PAH not develop in extreme amounts during cooking?

It is the temperature of the pan that matters not the flame The flame temperature is irrelevant if you are cooking in a vessel. the only temperature you need to worry about is the temperature of the ...
matt_black's user avatar
18 votes

Why is the Vitamin B complex, a "complex"?

It is essentially exactly what your teacher says: the term vitamin B complex is used because the structures assigned a name ‘vitamin Bx’ don’t really have anything in common although they are all ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 68k
16 votes
Accepted

Why does lavender oil dissolve plastic?

Based on appearance and extent of deformation, your bottle is likely made of PVC plastic which is not compatible with oils. Plastic bottles are made from blow molding. This process leaves residual ...
A.K.'s user avatar
  • 12.5k
14 votes
Accepted

Why does hot oil fry things, but hot water does not?

Oil can get hotter than the b.p. of water, 373 K. The browning (decomposition) of starches proceeds very slowly (perhaps years for a noticeable change) at 373 K. In addition, the water in the potato ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What factors promote honey's crystallisation?

The decisive factor is the plant origin of honey. The major components ( reportedly by some beekeeper books of my passed away father ) have ratio glucose : fructose about 1:1 to 1:1.7. Glucose ...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 41.3k
14 votes
Accepted

Why are some colorings called "Fast", i.e. Fast Yellow AB (E105)?

A good dictionary is your best friend. Fast as an adjective for a color Of a colour or dye: that will not readily fade or wash out; permanent. Now also in fast to: not susceptible to fading from. The ...
AChem's user avatar
  • 40.1k
14 votes
Accepted

What is the standard industrial method for measuring caffeine content in food and drinks?

The answer is fortunately rather simple. Use a C18 reversed phase column and a UV detector in an HPLC system. One would make a calibration curve by injecting various concentrations into the column. ...
AChem's user avatar
  • 40.1k
13 votes

How exactly do sulfites prevent oxidation of wine?

Sulphites work as anti-oxidants in wine because they are very easy to oxidise to sulphates. Schematically: $$\ce{SO_3^{2-} + \text{oxidant}\to SO_4^{2-}}$$ This ease with which the sulphite ion is ...
Gert's user avatar
  • 1,927

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible