What are Molecular Foods?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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Molecular foods are generally understood to be any type of natural food that has been grown from seeds that have undergone a process of intentional molecular engineering. Often, the seeds are altered so that the resulting plant will be less susceptible to a number of factors that could harm the crop. Molecular foods may also be altered to increase the flavor of a given product, or simply as a means of ensuring a healthy crop with a high yield.

Most of the procedures used in altering food have to do with making the plant hardier. Engineered food will be more resistant to inclement weather conditions, such as a drought or an excess amount of sun exposure. Molecular foods may also be able to withstand mold, blight, and other plant diseases that can cause a crop to fail. There are even examples of altered food that are engineered specifically to resist an infestation by a wide range of insects.

There are also examples of molecular food items that are infused with a stronger flavor or aroma than similar varieties. The enhanced flavor and smell are often desirable for use with frozen or canned vegetables, since they will tend to retain more taste after the cooking process. Molecular foods may also be engineered to retain more color during cooking. When this is the case, the presentation of the dish will not only be tasty but also appeal to the eye.


In some quarters, the term molecular food has been used to refer to the method of food preparation, rather than the food itself. For example, if an alternative to traditional cooking methods is employed, such as the use of fusion cooking, the resulting dishes may be understood to be molecular food. However, most culinary experts tend to think of molecular foods as genetically altered food, rather than food that is prepared in a non-traditional manner.


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Post 2

Molecule-R; got two great kits with DVD included, one for cooking and one for cocktail making. Great stuff indeed!

Post 1

Molecular gastronomy is much more accessible than I thought! I just bought a kit that includes a DVD and I love it!

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