Lactose is a crucial component of the mix that is converted into cheese by

Lactose is a crucial component of the mix that is

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the more common cheeses and how they are produced. Lactose is a crucial component of the mix that is converted into cheese by bacterial action on the lactose. The article also includes a recipe for making soft cheese from whole milk, should students want to try this under adult supervision. (Baxter R, Say Cheese. ChemMatters 1995 , 13 (1), pp 4–7.) For some background on how the digestive system produces a variety of gases, most of which are odorless, consult the ChemMatters article on flatus, listed below. In the article there is a discussion about one particular gas, methane, which is produced by certain ruminant animals (sheep, goats, and cows) and emitted into the atmosphere where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas. There is also the production of gas in people who are lactose intolerance, lactose being one of the FODMAP sugars. The Teacher’s Guide that accompanies the magazine provides additional background material and suggestions for activities related to the topic of gases in general. (Vanderborght, C. Flatus: Chemistry in the Wind. ChemMatters 2003, 21 (1) pp 11–13) For a complete description of the digestive process, including mechanical as well as chemical digestion (the role of specific enzymes and their pH requirements), see the ChemMatters article, Rohrig, B. 24 Hours: Your Food on the Move. ChemMatters 2012 , 30 (1), pp 6–8. The Teacher’s Guide for this article includes ideas for a number of in-class activities with appropriate Web sites for the details, plus additional background information. A ChemMatters article that provides the details behind celiac disease, including information about the causative agent, gluten, is found here: Hill, M. Attack of the Gluten. ChemMatters 2013, 30 (1), pp 9–11. Also found in this article is a simple activity of making bread in order to “feel” the role of gluten in providing “bulk” to the bread mixture. 85 30 Years of ChemMatters Available Now! The references below can be found on the ChemMatters 30-year DVD (which includes all articles published during the years 1983 through April 2013 and all available Teacher’s Guides, beginning February 1990). The DVD is available from the American Chemical Society for $42 (or $135 for a site/school license) at this site: . Scroll about half way down the page and click on the ChemMatters DVD image at the right of the screen to order or to get more information. Selected articles and the complete set of Teacher’s Guides for all issues from the past three years are available free online on the same Web site, above. Simply access the link and click on the “Past Issues” button directly below the “M” in the ChemMatters logo at the top of the Web page.
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The October 2013 Teacher’s Guide accompanying the gluten article above provides additional background information on celiac disease and some of the chemistry behind the change in the physical state of gluten as it is manipulated when kneading the bread mix of flour, water, and yeast. There is also a number of activities tied in with bread making, including the effect of yeast under different conditions of temperature.
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