Watts cooking?

Amanda and I are about to get started on the real work for our senior design project, which I am fondly referring to as Bakefest 2009. Most of our classmates chose projects sponsored by an MSE professor, but Amanda and I decided to design our own project and evaluate the differences in the performance of bakeware materials.

The idea for our project came to me as I wandered the aisles of Bed Bath & Beyond for my millionth bridal shower last summer, and as I drooled over the kitchen tools and baking pans, I wondered what difference it would make if baking were done in a silicone pan rather than a glass or metal pan. I was very taken with the silicone bakeware, since it’s relatively new on the market and I’ve never used any of it before. Plus, it’s so doggone colorful. I cannot resist cheerful colors!

Instead of gifting my soon-to-be-married friends with a pan of each material and asking them to report back to me, I pitched the project idea to Amanda. Since she loves to bake even more than I do, I knew it’d be a hit with her, and it was. We’ve since gotten support from Professor Flores, our project advisor, and Professor Vodovotz in the Food Science & Technology department.

We’re pretty excited to learn more about quantitative measurements for food. The FS&T department has a texture profile analysis machine that’s essentially a foodie counterpart to our department’s tensile tester, and it measures qualities like texture, consistency, and moisture. By the end of the quarter, I will probably know more about brownies and baking pans than I ever wanted to.


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About Caitlin
I'm a senior Materials Science & Engineering student at The Ohio State University.

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