News & Articles

MoMix Blog

Molecular gastronomy & mixology


Molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline that investigates the mechanisms of phenomena, similar to ‘molecular biology’, occurring during the consumption or dish preparation. Gastronomy means knowledge about food. People have been confused about molecular gastronomy; according to Herve This, who is French physical chemist born in 1955, that happens because people ignore the difference between the words gastronomy and cuisine (This, 2013). The first application was ‘molecular cuisine’ in 1994 and the second ‘note by note cuisine’. The second involves the preparation of a dish with the use of mixture of compounds or just pure compounds obtained by animal tissues or fractioning plant, instead of using these tissues themselves. In an attempt to disentangle this confusion thirty interviews were given. Interviewees were asked what does molecular gastronomy (MG) and molecular mixology (MM) mean for them and whether they observe similarities and differences.


Application in the kitchen


“Molecular” cuisine or cooking was a name given in 1999 at INICON, which was a FP5 European program. It is described as the ‘producing food using ‘new’ tools, ingredients and methods’; the ‘new’ refers to what was not available in the kitchens till the 80s’ in the western world. After the introduction of MG, many wanted to modernize cooking practices importing facts frοm the scientific disciplines physics, biology and chemistry (This & Kurti, 1994). In the history of cuisine, many times, the idea of modernization of techniques has come up. The application of physical techniques was mentioned by Nickolas Kurti (1969). Since the early 80s’, Herve This suggested the use of chemical tools (Kurti & This, 1995).


Application in the bartending


Molecular mixology is the use of the chemical compounds for the shaping and blending the ingredients in purpose to enhance the taste and aromas in bartending (MoMix, 2012). In simple words, molecular mixology is creating cocktails using the equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. Methods such as spherification, jellification, foams, powders, atomized sprays in single cocktails enable different ways of presentation and greater intensities and varieties of flavors. Moreover, the long- established bartending practice of layering ingredients in cocktails could be said that was a first example of what nowadays is called molecular mixology. Experimentation with the density and viscosity of fluids using the principles of scientific investigation is fundamental to molecular mixology (O’Neil, 2010).


History & Philosophy


There has always been much confusion, talking about food, between science and technology. Firstly, it should be taken as granted what exactly food is. The definition is given by dictionaries is: ‘any substance that can offer to living beings the required elements for growth or preservation’ (Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé, 2006). However, it is remarkable that human beings do not usually eat non-transformed tissues or natural products; so, the final composition of all food is determined by the chemical and physical changes and transformation of the raw materials (This, 2012). Clarifying the difference between science and technology, the public irregular fear of the ‘chemistry in the plate’ is being calmed down. A French chemist said that the two fields of science and technology ‘do not meet’ (de Lavoisier, 2012). Another French chemist and biologist, Louis Pasteur, who succeeded in science and technology too was intensely opposed to the expression ‘applied sciences’ too. There is a substantial difference between technology and science related to food transformations (This, 2009). The technology cannot be compared to the scientific study of molecular gastronomy. Strictly speaking, the use of expressions such as ‘culinary science’ or ‘science of cooking’ is not correct (This, 2011). That could be accepted if science here meant knowledge in general. Additively, in contrary to what is very often said in the media, there are no ‘scientific chefs’ or ‘molecular bartenders’ (Facen, 2011). The sophistication of 2 culinary transformations and the lack of funding for studies about the industry were the main reasons explain why the food science sliding slowly toward the food technology and science of ingredients (This, 2013).


de Lavoisier, A.-L., 2012. Oeuvres de Lavoisier (Éd.1862-1893). Paris(Paris): Hachette Livre BNF.

Facen, D. (2011). the scientific chef. Interview by Roberta Schira on Dec.4,

Kurti, N. (1969). Friday evening discourse at the Royal Institution: the physicist in the kitchen. Proceedings of the Royal Institution. 1969, 42/199: 451-467.

O’Neil, D., 2010. Art of Drink. [web] /science/introduction -to-molecular-mixology (4/12/2010).

This, H. (2009). Cours de gastronomie moléculaire N°1: Science, technologie, technique (culinaires): quelles relations ? Paris: Quae/Belin

This, H. (2011) Molecular gastronomy in France. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, 9 (3): 140-10.1080/15428052.2011.600212.

This, H. (2012): Solutions are solutions, and gels are almost solutions. Pure Appl Chem. ASAP article., Published online 2012-09-10

This, H., (2013). [web]

This, H., Kurti, N. (1994). Physics and chemistry in the kitchen. Sci Am., 270 (4): 44- 50. 10.1038/scientificamerican0494-44.

This, H., Kurti, N. (1995). The cooking chemist. The Chemical Intelligencer, 1: 65

Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé, 2006. Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé. [web] Available at: (1/10/2006)

You might also like

Reserve your Table NOW