Ingredients are selected for their nutritional, functional and sensory characteristics, as well as provenance and seasonality.
There is an ever increasing range of ingredients available to prepare and cook from the UK and around the world. Ingredients will have a number of functions in a recipe, such as adding flavour, colour or texture, or performing a particular purpose, e.g. as a thickener or setting agent. Ingredients may also be selected for their nutritional composition or used for traditional or cultural reasons. Ingredients may be available at certain times of the year, or seasons, from areas or countries in the world or have a particular provenance.
Pupils should be able to describe the reasons why ingredients are selected, and be able to modify recipes taking ingredient characteristics into account.
This area covers:
- selecting ingredients;
- functional characteristics;
- sensory characteristics.
Information and resources to support teaching and learning about food provenance and the seasonality of foods, can be found in the Where food comes from area.
To introduce the reasons why particular ingredients and foods are selected, show the Selecting ingredients presentation. Task pupils to complete the Selecting ingredients worksheet.
- Use a nutritional analysis programme, such as Explore food to calculate the energy and nutrients provided by a recipe. Use the My recipe worksheet to support this.
- Use the Modifying a recipe worksheet to demonstrate how the choice of ingredients can impact the nutritional profile of the dish made. The worksheet is based on the recipe for a lasagne but can be edited.
For further information about the nutrients provided by different ingredients, go to the Healthy eating area. There is also further support for applying this information in the Cooking for health area.
- To introduce pupils to the functions of ingredients, show the Functional properties of ingredients overview presentation. Ask the pupils to complete the Functions overview worksheet to check their understanding.
- Use the Food functions cards to explain the ‘how and why’ of ingredients and their functional properties. Divide the class into six groups and provide each group with a different Food function card. Challenge the pupils to identify six key facts for each food function. Each group should nominate a spokesperson who should then share the facts with the rest of the class.
- Task the pupils to complete the What has happened? Worksheet. Challenge them to make a dish that demonstrates one of the functional properties explained on the worksheet. They could take photographs to illustrate the food science taking place. Why not use these to create a display?
- Making bread is a simple way for pupils to learn about the functions of the ingredients used and apply this to a product that is easily made in the practical classroom. Use The science of bread baking information sheet and Bread making – the theory to support your practical demonstration of bread making. Ask the pupils to listen and watch carefully during the demonstration and complete the Bread making – listening activity. Why not give each pupil a small piece of dough you have made to feel, knead lightly, shape and then cook? This will help them understand what the dough should look and feel like when it is ready to prove. Ask the pupils to watch the What went wrong? – bread video before their next practical lesson to consolidate learning and prevent any problems when making their own bread.If you are short on time, use the Quick bread bun recipe which can be made and cooked in an hour.
- To further investigate the type and functions of ingredients in bread making, use the Bread making – yeast experiment activity and the Gluten content investigation.
A simple way to visually show that yeast requires food to grow and produce carbon dioxide, place a teaspoon of quick acting yeast in three small glasses, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to one glass, one teaspoon of honey to another and leave one glass as the control. Add a small amount of warm water (ideally 37°C) and leave the glasses in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. Discuss with the pupils the various amounts of ‘froth’ that has been produced in each glass.
- Functions of ingredients can also be investigated and applied through sauce making. Demonstrate how to make a roux sauce (which could then be used to make macaroni cheese) using the What is a roux sauce? information sheet. Challenge the pupils to apply their knowledge of starches used as thickeners by using the Starches worksheet.To challenge pupils further, carry out the Sauce making experiment. This experiment requires the pupils to compare the ingredients, cooking methods and thickness (viscosity) of a number of starch thickened sauces. The experiment can be adapted to suit the needs of your pupils by making the roux sauce as the control and then making and comparing one or more of the other sauces. Use the How to measure thickness or viscosity sheet and Viscosity chart when comparing and evaluating each sauce.
- Pastry making is another activity that enables pupils to understand the properties of ingredients and also that how the pastry is handled and cooked will impact the quality of the final product. Demonstrate how to make short crust pastry, explaining the ingredients used, their functions and the general rules for successful pastry making. Also discuss the problems that may occur with the pastry and the final product. Use the Principles of pastry making information sheet to support your demonstration and then check the pupil’s knowledge using the Principles of pastry making worksheet. Ask the pupils to watch the What went wrong? – pastry video before they make their own pastry to consolidate learning and prevent any problems with their final dish.
- Use Thinking pot questions to check knowledge. This activity is based on a scone based pizza using the rubbed-in method. However, this style of questioning can be adapted for different recipes.
- To demonstrate the effect that dry heat has on starches (dextrinisation), use the Dry heat presentation.
- Meat can also be used to demonstrate food science and the changes that take place during cooking. Use the Food science and red meat presentation to demonstrate meat science and facilitate the activities included in the presentation with the pupils. Task the pupils to complete the What happens when meat is cooked? worksheet. The What happens when meat is cooked? Teacher’s notes can be used to support this task. Applying heat to meat affects its texture and pupils can experience these changes by feeling a piece of raw meat before it is cooked and then again once it is cooked. They will be able to feel that the proteins have been denatured and become firmer and that the fibres have shrunk. Task the pupils to complete the What makes meat tender? worksheet and then make a recipe using either mechanical or chemical tenderising methods.
- Whilst the recipes made in school should be predominantly savoury, cake making does provide an ideal opportunity to understand the functions of some ingredients. Discuss the four main methods for cake making, and the functions of the various ingredients, and challenge the pupils to make a cake using one of the methods, e.g.:
- creaming or all in one (Victoria sponge or fairy cakes);
- whisking (Swiss roll);
- melting (ginger cake);
- rubbing in (rock cakes).
Use the Functions of ingredients – cakes information sheet to support the discussion. Ask the pupils to watch the What went wrong – cakes video before the practical lesson to consolidate learning and prevent any problems with their final product.
For more about ingredients, go to the Food commodities area where you will find further information on dairy, grains, meat and potatoes.
- To introduce pupils to the senses that are used when eating food, and the five basic tastes, show the The senses and food presentation. Task the pupils to complete The senses and food worksheet.
- To encourage the pupils to use good descriptive vocabulary when carrying our sensory evaluation, use the Odour worksheet to explore different sensory words that could be used.
- Umami is a savoury taste that most people don’t recognise until their attention is especially drawn to it. Use the Umami presentation to introduce this term and identify familiar and unfamiliar umami rich foods. Challenge the pupils to make a recipe that is rich in the taste of umami.
- Check the pupil’s understanding using the Food and the senses quiz and Food, the senses and umami Kahoot Q&A
- To outline and explain the scientific discipline of sensory evaluation and the importance of fair testing, show the Sensory evaluation presentation.
- There are a number of different sensory evaluation tests to determine whether someone likes or dislikes a food (preference tests) or identify particular sensory characteristics of a food (discrimination tests). Use the Guide to sensory evaluation testing to support understanding and practical application in the classroom. There are also a variety of Excel spreadsheets to enable the pupils to produce the results of their sensory testing easily and attractively. These include:
- Preference tests
- Hedonic – Hedonic chart worksheet, Hedonic chart Excel template for 3 dishes/products, Hedonic chart Excel template for 4 dishes/products, Hedonic chart Excel template for 5 dishes/products
- Paired comparison test (preference) - Paired comparison test worksheet, Paired comparison Excel template
- Scoring - Scoring worksheet
- Discrimination tests
- Triangle test - Triangle test worksheet, Triangle test Excel template
- Duo- trio - Duo-Trio worksheet, Duo-Trio Excel template
- Ranking test – Ranking test worksheet
- Paired Comparison Test (Discrimination) - Paired comparison test worksheet, Paired comparison Excel template
- Star charts/diagrams (product profiles) - Star chart/diagram worksheet, Star chart/diagram Excel template for 1 dish/product (5 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 2 dishes/products (5 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 3 dishes/products (5 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 4 dishes/products (5 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 5 dishes/products (5 point scale),Star chart/diagram Excel template for 1 dish/product (10 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 2 dishes/products (10 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 3 dishes/products (10 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 4 dishes/products (10 point scale), Star chart/diagram Excel template for 5 dishes/products (10 point scale)
- Preference tests
- Some schools use de Bono’s Thinking Hats to evaluate ready-made products and dishes made in school. The process behind Thinking Hats can be used in a variety of ways to complete sensory evaluation. The Thinking Hats evaluation can be edited to suit different lessons and practical activities but in this case, it is designed to evaluate a range of meat alternatives such as tofu, textured vegetable protein and a myco-protein.
- There are many opportunities where sensory evaluation activities can form part of lessons. Use the Classroom activities guide for additional suggestions.
- If, as part of your Scheme of Work, you focus on different key food commodities why not use red meat as the main ingredient for sensory evaluation? You will find a number of ideas for sensory activities using red meat in the Sensory activities using red meat information sheet.
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