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Extension.usu.edu High Altitude Cooking 2011 FACS Nutrition & Food Science Conference Karin Allen, PhD USU Extension Food Quality & Entrepreneurship Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Extension.usu.edu High Altitude Cooking 2011 FACS Nutrition & Food Science Conference Karin Allen, PhD USU Extension Food Quality & Entrepreneurship Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 extension.usu.edu High Altitude Cooking 2011 FACS Nutrition & Food Science Conference Karin Allen, PhD USU Extension Food Quality & Entrepreneurship Specialist

2 Why Elevation Matters There is less atmosphere above us at high altitudes – this results in less pressure pushing back down Figure 6.6 in The Atmosphere, 8 th edition, Lutggens and Tarbuck, 8 th edition, 2001.

3 extension.usu.edu Two main Consequences 1.Lower atmospheric pressure means water boils at a lower temperature This affects all types of cooking 2.Lower atmospheric pressure means gasses can over-expand This primarily affects baked goods

4 extension.usu.edu Lowered Boiling Point This video from Edwards Vacuum demonstrates that water can be made to boil, and even freeze, just by lowering the atmospheric pressure:

5 extension.usu.edu Lowered Boiling Point Temp of boiling water drops ~1°F every 500 ft More water is lost to evaporation during cooking – foods dry out more easily Food is at a lower temperature, so it must be cooked longer Exception – microwaved foods cook more quickly!

6 extension.usu.edu Adjustments for Baking at 5000 ft Increase oven temperature 15-25°F Proteins and starches will set sooner, so the cake does not dry out or collapse Decrease sugar by 2-3 Tbsp per cup With less sugar present, proteins set at a lower temperature Increase liquid by 2-3 Tbsp per cup This keeps many types of cakes moister

7 extension.usu.edu Over-Expansion of Gasses These videos from Edwards Vacuum demonstrate how over-expanding gasses can destroy the structure of food foams and cause them to collapse:

8 Over-Expansion of Gasses At sea level, higher air pressure prevents bubbles from over- expanding At higher altitudes, there is less outside pressure to control expansion

9 extension.usu.edu Adjustments for Baking at 5000 ft Increase flour by 1-2 Tbsp per cup More gluten can be developed, so the films around the bubbles are stronger Decrease leavening by ¼ tsp per tsp Less gas is generated so less expansion occurs Decrease fat by 1-2 Tbsp per cup Less air is incorporated during creaming & more gluten is developed during mixing

10 extension.usu.edu Additional Resources USU Extension County Elevation Guide USDA Fact Sheet Boiling point/elevation table Boiling point calculator Additional Edwards Vacuum videos


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