Chemical Reactions in the Kitchen Essay

Chemical reactions are all around us. Every day, we experience chemical changes. Most of them occur in the kitchen although we don’t really know it or think about it. These examples are cooking eggs, making cake, cooking rice, burning toast, and baking a potato. However other chemical reactions that take place during everyday life include burning wood and lighting a match. We rely on chemical changes to survive. The clothes we wear and the food we eat are the results of chemical changes. There are millions of chemical changes going on around us. Some are even happening in our body.

Plants use energy from the Sun to combine water and carbon dioxide, which react to form sugar and Oxygen. When we eat these plants and breathe in oxygen from the air, the sugar and oxygen react in our cells to produce water, carbon dioxide, and energy. We need the energy from this reaction for our daily activities. The Chemical reaction that I chose to do a report on is frying an egg. The chemical reaction/change taking place is the making of the fried egg. When we fry an egg, we are changing its physical composition. The clear, liquid part of the egg changes color and becomes solid.

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The cooked egg has properties that are different from the properties of the uncooked egg. This process becomes irreversible and we cannot return the egg back to its previous state. No matter how long we leave a fried egg, the white will never regain its original clear liquid state. There are 4 basic factors that can affect the rate of a chemical reaction: Temperature, concentration, surface area and the addition of catalysts. However, what affects frying an egg mostly is temperature and surface area. Temperature affects the rate of the reaction (frying an egg) or the speed in which the egg fries.

Egg proteins change when you heat them. Proteins are made of long chains of amino acids. The proteins in an egg are circular proteins. This means that the long protein molecule is twisted and folded and curled up into a more or less circular shape. A set of weak chemical bonds keep the protein curled up tight as it floats gently in the water that surrounds it. When heat is added, those gently floating egg proteins get worked up and begin to bounce around. They crash into the nearby water molecules and they smash into each other. All this smashing breaks the weak bonds that kept the protein curled up.

The egg proteins then uncurl and bump into other proteins that have also uncurled. New chemical bonds form from this, but instead of connecting the protein to itself, these bonds connect one protein to another. After smashing and bonding, the single egg proteins are not single anymore. They’ve created a system of interconnected proteins. The water in which the proteins once floated is captured and held in the protein web. When more heat is added, this process works faster and causes the single egg proteins to move quicker. This causes these single egg proteins to uncurl faster and smash into each other quicker.

Thus, more collisions occur at a higher temperature. As a result, a reaction under high temperature will have a higher rate of reaction. However, if less heat is added, this process will work slower. The single egg proteins will move about slower and will uncurl up more slowly. This will cause the egg proteins to smash into each other at a slower rate. Therefore, there will be less collision occurring. As a result, a reaction under low temperature will have a lower rate of reaction. Surface area affects the speed in which the egg fries.

The surface area of any object controls the rate at which energy can be transferred from one material to another. We can increase the surface area of the liquid egg in two ways; by either increasing the surface of the liquid raw egg or of the pan. We can increase the surface area of the egg by spreading it fully in the pan and not keeping the liquid tight next to each other. By doing this, we will be keeping enough space for egg proteins and molecules to move around and react. This will cause more collisions and as a result will increase the rate of the reaction.

We can also increase surface are by increasing the size of the pan used. This will allow the liquid raw egg to spread out on the pan and fill it completely, thus causing it to be able to absorb heat quicker. Therefore, a greater surface area would mean that the egg would fry faster. However, if we use a smaller pan, where the liquid of the raw egg fits in exactly, it will take a longer time to cook. This is because the raw liquid egg will be clustered and bunched up really close into the small frying pan, and so there will be no space for the egg proteins to move around and connect. Thus, it will absorb heat a lot slower.

Therefore, a smaller surface area would mean that the egg would cook slower. Science is applied to addressing the issue of hunger, which in my case, I would like to relate to lack of hunger. Having an eating disorder is usually a reason for lack of hunger or not eating enough. It is an obsession with food and weight that harms a person’s health. One very common and major eating disorder is anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin. They refuse to eat, and are afraid of gaining weight. Most people with this eating disorder take diet pills, laxatives or water pills to lose weight.

Science and scientists have created diet pills which they believe help people lose weight. Many people believe this because of the pressure the media has put on them, making them believe that the best way to live is by being slim, thin and fit and so they fight to become this. Most common diet pills either increase your metabolism in order to reduce appetite or burn extra calories. Although some people find diet pills to be very useful and completely harmful, most scientists have discovered the dangers, limitations and side effects of these pills.

The side effects of some diet pills as shown by medical testing are that they cause nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue and hyperactivity, heart failure or heart attack, headaches, dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea and hair loss. If people misuse the amount of food they eat then they will gain a lot of weight. However, if people under eat the amount of food they should be eating then they will most likely lose weight and probably become anorexic. Since I have chosen to fry eggs as a chemical reaction in the kitchen, I will explain the benefits and limitations of science on it.

Eggs have many health benefits. They are a rich source of protein, containing the important amino acids required by your body. They can be an excellent source of omega-3 oils that can help improve health. Eggs have natural omega-3 oil that are found in the egg and are better for the body than the ones scientists put in pills. Omega-3 contains many natural proteins and nutrients that are good for your health. In addition to protein, eggs also contain many vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 helps to build up cell membranes and protect us from cardiovascular diseases.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help us to maintain a healthy heart, and so allow us to live longer. It is said that we are to eat an average of 4-5 eggs every week. This will maintain our cholesterol and fiber. However, if we eat too much eggs or very little, then it will affect the cholesterol in our body by either having low cholesterol because of very little Omega-3 oils or high cholesterol because of too much egg proteins and omega-3 oils. Science has affected us culturally. Scientists have created food additives and chemicals that help to preserve food and adjust their taste.

Every manufacturer adds preservative to the food during processing. The purpose is usually to avoid spoilage during the transportation time. Also, preservatives are used to help keep food safe for longer. Because food is so important to survive, food preservation is one of the oldest technologies used by humans. Different ways for producing food has been found and improved over time. Scientists have improved keeping food conserved and protected. It has been discovered that salt is the most useful and used food preservative. This is because salt is considered pure antibacterial because it controls bacterial growth in many foods.

It preserves foods by lowering the amount of free water molecules in foods. Bacteria need moisture in order to grow and flourish, so without enough free water, they cannot grow well in foods that contain salt. However, if we add too much salt, chemicals and other preservatives to food it will affect us negatively. It has been tested and known to cause respiratory or other health problems. It can increase your cholesterol, and may cause you to produce unnecessary fluids in your body (oils). It may also dehydrate you. Science has also affected us environmentally.

Since we rely on food to survive, we need crops to help process food naturally. Science has created the greenhouse to plant crops. It allows them to gain sunlight and carbon dioxide to keep them healthy and growing. Science has improved the making of crops by creating pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides are used for preventing, controlling, or lessening the damage caused by pests. They are used to kill mosquitoes, bees, wasps or ants that harm the crops we grow. However, some environmental affects of pesticides are that when it is sprayed in the air, the particles in the wind get contaminated by the pesticides.

While many insects and pests are an important part of the environment, some are responsible for heavy destruction of farm produce. These pests also harm people with their bites or stings and so in order to keep crops growing and to produce food we are forced to kill these insects for a better health. Pesticides are also one of the causes of water pollution. Another chemical that science has created is herbicides. Herbicides are a type of pesticide used to kill unwanted plants. They kill particular objects, and keep the plants unharmed.

They affect certain pathways and systems found only in plants, and so it is one of the safest crop protection products having no effect on mammals, birds, amphibians or reptiles. However, some herbicides can cause a variety of health effects from skin rashes to death. If it comes in direct contact with humans it will be toxic to your liver, kidneys, and nervous system. It will cause headaches, weakness, thirst, sweating, and a feeling of overall illness. Therefore, you need to use these chemicals created for us by science wisely and carefully.

In conclusion, science is a very important part of our daily life. Although most of us don’t really notice it, science has affected the usual everyday activities we carry out daily. It does this in positive and negative ways. Science and its applications influence and have an effect on the social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and ethical factors that we as humans work with everyday. Science has made life for us a lot easier and safer. Although some negative affects of science lead to severe illnesses and death, it can be prevented.


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