NBIA Colloquium by Ole Mouritsen

What is gastrophysics?


The history of physics demonstrates repeated moves into other areas turning them into physics. This has happened with, e.g., astronomy, geology, chemistry, as well as biology and is possibly about to happen with gastronomy, turning it into gastrophysics. The subject matter of gastrophysics is food, preparation techniques, and flavor; and the methods of study include the arsenal of modern techniques and concepts from the physical and chemical sciences. I will provide examples of what a gastrophysicist may work on, and will speak about taste experience, mouthfeel, and texture, thereby illustrating how physics and physical chemistry can illuminate fundamental properties of taste and the structure of complex foodstuff like emulsions, sauces, jellyfish, seaweeds, and cephalopods.

Ole G. Mouritsen has a background in physical chemistry and received his Ph. D. degree from Aarhus University in 1980.   He has made many contributions to statistical physics, physical chemistry, interface and colloid chemistry, lipid and membrane biophysics, and drug delivery before turning to his current interests.  In 2017 he was appointed Professor of Gastrophysics at the University of Copenhagen.  He is currently president of the Danish Gastronomical Academy and director of the Danish national research and communication center Taste for Life.

All are welcome!  As usual, refreshments will be served in the NBIA lounge after the talk.