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Luke LaBorde
Penn State Department of Food Science
Penn State Associate Professor of Food Science
Recent Activity
Have you ever wondered why your pancakes sometimes have ugly craters, or a weird ring around their edges? A new analysis of pancake recipes could help you exploit physics to make the perfect pancake — and possibly one day save... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at The Science of Food
Local and organic is a romantic myth – the future of sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up. The logic of farmers’ markets begins with this: that the route from harvest to plate ought to be as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2015 at The Science of Food
Cheese is a delicious invention. But if you saw the news last week, you might think it’s on its way to being classified as a Schedule II drug. Headlines proclaimed “Say cheese? All the time? Maybe you have an addiction,”... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2015 at The Science of Food
Like many biologists, Ricardo C. Rodríguez de la Vega searches the world for new species. But while other scientists venture into the depths of the ocean or the heart of the jungle, Dr. Rodríguez de la Vega and his colleagues... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2015 at The Science of Food
Is genetically engineered food dangerous? Many people seem to think it is. In the past five years, companies have submitted more than 27,000 products to the Non-GMO Project, which certifies goods that are free of genetically modified organisms. Last year,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at The Science of Food
THERE ARE BUGS IN your food and makeup. Some of them are there on purpose. One of the best known is cochineal, a red color additive derived from a scale insect called, appropriately, the cochineal scale (Dactylopius coccus). Cochineal is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at The Science of Food
CHEESE PURISTS THE world over exalt their mummified milk. Their silken Goudas and savory Emmentalers. Their fetid fetas and squeaky queso frescos. Their moldy Roqueforts and runny Camemberts. These disks of rotted dairy are the pinnacle of thousands of years... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at The Science of Food
Manipulating sound can transform our experience of food and drink, making stale potato chips taste fresh, adding the sensation of cream to black coffee, or boosting the savory, peaty notes in whiskey. Composers have written music to go with feasts... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at The Science of Food
Gettyimages Good news for those who find themselves regretfully tossing out their untouched groceries: If you're one to throw away your food as soon as it hits that barely legible date on its packaging, you're probably wasting way more food... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at The Science of Food
Throughout human history, if you wanted to make a dish taste like strawberry, you had no choice but to add a strawberry. But in the 19th century, scientists began to understand how to synthesize flavor chemicals, whether from plants or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at The Science of Food
I scream, you scream, we all scream for . . . gelato? Frozen treats used to be a simple summertime pleasure, with the toughest choice being chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. In many supermarkets today, the frozen dessert aisle is packed... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at The Science of Food
. . . as well as one of its greatest delights. Fresh and light or funky and earthy, creamy and melty or crystalline and crumbly — no other food offers such a variety of flavors and textures. But cheese is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at The Science of Food
Image Mar 27, 2015 The year is 1986, and you operate one of the largest carrot farms and processing plants in California. The weather is beautiful, your farm is vast, and business is good. Life is perfect except for one... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at The Science of Food
Have you ever wondered why popcorn "jumps" when it pops? This one-minute video from The New York Times shows the process in slow motion, narrating the key parts of a popcorn kernel's journey into a fluffy snack. It's based on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2015 at The Science of Food
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A compound found in green tea may trigger a cycle that kills oral cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, according to Penn State food scientists. The research could lead to treatments for oral cancer, as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2015 at The Science of Food
The home kitchen of 2050 may be almost unrecognizable compared with its present-day counterpart, as evolving technology promises to boost interactivity between consumers and appliances in dramatic ways. Find out more about hyperconnected "smart" appliances, kitchens that can keep you... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at The Science of Food
November 4, 2014 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Professor Emeritus Phil Keeney has been intimately linked with Penn State's Department of Food Science since its establishment in 1975. Now, an anonymous $1 million gift will ensure that his name is connected... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at The Science of Food
We know that yeasts produce the molecules that make ales and lagers so aromatic. But why do they do it? Whether you're catching a whiff of banana from a tall glass of Hefewiezen or enjoying the subtle floral aromas in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at The Science of Food
By Cade Metz Wired Magazine 09.19.14 Inside a squat building on San Francisco’s 10th Street, packed into a space that looks a lot like a high school chem lab, Hampton Creek is redesigning the food you eat. Mixing and matching... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at The Science of Food
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --T he taste of common sugar substitutes is often described as being much more intense than sugar, but participants in a recent study indicated that these non-nutritive sugar substitutes are no sweeter than the real thing, according... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at The Science of Food
A group of Oakland, California-based biohackers believe they can create “real vegan cheese.” Their goal - a cheese made with no animal products that fully evokes the real dairy deal The team will insert bovine DNA — which is chemically... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2014 at The Science of Food
Food scientists are working to block, mask and/or distract from bitter tastes in foods to make them more palatable to consumers, many of whom are genetically sensitive to bitter tastes, according to a new presentation at the 2014 Institute of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at The Science of Food
Remove the lid from a cup of Chobani, and you may now be greeted by this printed tagline: "Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists. #howmatters." This is an incredible work of PR, perhaps bested only by "a cup... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2014 at The Science of Food
So Coke and Pepsi are rushing to remove (BVO) from their drinks in response to consumer pressure. Some of the campaigns are predictably in terms of the ingredient having non-food uses (a fire retardant) make it inappropriate to use in... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at The Science of Food
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Antimicrobial agents incorporated into edible films applied to foods to seal in flavor, freshness and color can improve the microbiological safety of meats, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Using films made... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at The Science of Food