French scientist Hervé This, the co-creator of molecular gastronomy, wants the world to cook with chemical compounds, a process that he believes can help improve global food security.
His pioneering technique seeks to deconstruct ingredients such as meat and vegetables into individual chemical constituents like lipids and amino acids. Called note-by-note cuisine, it's based on chemistry processes — think fractionation, extraction, reverse osmosis and mixing.
After identifying the fundamental chemical make-up of dishes, This then mixes those raw compounds to reconstruct the essence of traditional dishes. Steak, for example, is a combination of protein, water, colorants and powders; salt is sodium chloride while garlic is basically benzyl mercaptan. The final edible product is typically made up of foams, gels and oils with added bulk from coagulation that occurs during cooking.
Using chemical compounds will not only prevent food spoilage that occurs during the transportation of crops and animal products, it can feed more people, help farmers stay profitable, and save energy by reducing the use of fridges, according to This.