Marge Condrasky: Culinary Science

Marge Condrasky, EdD, RD, CCE
Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

We all enjoy great food, but did you ever wonder what the science was behind that food? At Clemson University, in the food science and human nutrition department today, our students are looking at the foods from the farm through the science labs – some of the chemistry labs that we’ll talk about in a minute, for instance – that relate those wonderful ingredients to what it is that makes food delicious.

I’m Marge Condrasky, assistant professor in the food science and human nutrition department at Clemson University. My major area is culinary science, a relatively new field that came about from the combination of the nutrition, the food science, and the culinary arts of food production. Students take ingredients, such as this lovely ear of corn, and learn about the functionality of those ingredients. They deeply investigate the science and the chemistry behind the kernel of corn, the sweetness, the availability of some of the mechanisms that go into good food production.

One of the labs that we used this past year at Clemson was an emulsion lab where we had students in the chemistry class called “food chemistry” looking at the differences in emulsions of common salad dressings and resulting in new taste sensations as well as scientifically-based products. That’s what culinology is all about. It’s a combination of culinary arts knowledge, competence in the kitchen, and the science and rigor of understanding how to create new foods for the new generation of cooks and consumers in South Carolina and in the world.

I hope you understand a little bit more about how excited we are and that you would go to the website here at Clemson University at the Food Science and Human Nutrition department and seek just a little bit more to learn about your food and careers in this new and exciting field called culinary science.