We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry. We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.
As part of its “Chemistry & Culture” series, KACS hosted a free, public event that focused on food titled “Sense-ational Molecules in Nutrition” at Bell's Eccentric Café on January 29, 2014, 6-10 PM. It attracted 98 people who were curious to see a presentation, enjoy demonstrations and a variety of snacks. Dr. Sara Risch of Popz Europe gave the keynote speech connecting nutrition and science by commenting on fats and sodium in foods, among others. She also used jelly beans in order for the audience to experience the difference between taste and flavor. The talk was followed by hands-on-activities. Several different tables were set up for everybody to visit with and learn more about chemesthesis, natural colors, beer foaming action, and emulsions.
Sara Risch is the Director of Global R&D and QA for Popz Europe, a microwave popcorn company. Prior to joining Popz, she had her own consulting business, working with food, flavor and packaging companies. Sara moved away from consulting for a couple of years to serve as the Director of the School of Packaging at Michigan State University. She received both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Minnesota. She has an M.S. in Food Science from the University of Georgia. Her work has focused primarily on microwave foods and food-package interactions. Sara is active in the American Chemical Society, currently serving as a member of the Committee on Committees. Dr. Risch was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2012.
This event would not have been possible without major funding from Kalsec, Waters Corporation and the Great Lakes Concentrates Company (GLCC). KACS thanks additional supporters who provided food samples or gift cards: Victorian Bakery, Harding's Friendly Markets, Hunan Gardens, Bacchus Wine & Spirits, Sawall Health Food, and Family Fare Supermarkets.
There were a variety of refreshments and snacks, such as seasonal fruits, meatballs in house-beer-BBQ sauce and stuffed mushrooms from Bell's; crab Rangoon and spring roll appetizers from Hunan Gardens; Victorian Bakery's seeded sour dough bread, cream cheese brownies and lemon bars; cheeses from Bacchus [Wisconsin cheddar, Piave (hard white cheese), Butterkäse (soft, semi-white cheese), and Gourmandise with Kirsch (soft white cheese)], as well as Salsa, hummus, crackers and more.
Chemists are not just experts in their field but are also interested in art, history, cooking, baking, brewing, gardening and exercise, among others. “Elements of Dance” invited all chemists, chemistry enthusiasts and the general public to enjoy ballroom dancing. Future “Chemistry and Culture” themes will address topics like “Art Conservation”, “Forgery”, “Cooking” and “Gardening”, for example.
The goals of the “Chemistry and Culture” series are...