Food tasting has been a serious profession since the times of kings. Kings and other important people used to have their personal food tasters who were responsible to determine if the food was safe to eat. From ancient Rome to the present date – Romans used slaves as food tasters, Olympics chose mice for the job, Hitler had an army of 15 women who used to taste his food before him and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president has a food taster among the security staff. I’m sure the US president has one too, but the secret service refuses to confirm any details or even the existence of a person with such a job in his security staff.
Since ancient times the job of a human food taster has turned into a professional job which has a much widened application today. Professional food tasters can be a part of a sensory/consumer or expert panel, are employed by labs and food testing companies to evaluate and improve certain food products for their taste, nutrition etc. Most such jobs require you to have a distinctly evolved sense of taste, a previous professional experience or a degree in something like food science.
At first, getting paid to eat food sounds like a great idea. Well, it doesn’t even sound good if you are going to taste pet food. Anyway, even human food tasting can be hard. It can be a repetitive job. Food flavorists working to test the flavors of teas for instance might have to taste more than 500 cups of tea a day. Plus you might not even qualify for it because of lack of sensory sharpness which is usually a rare genetic trait, or is usually developed by years of training.
Here’s the quick and hard truth – Mountain Dew is worse for your teeth when compared to Coca Cola. As interpreted by a young scientist, from a simple yet sharp experiment he conducted, there are two main reasons why Mountain Dew is worse thank Coke.
Firstly, Mountain Dew uses citric acid, while Coke uses phosphoric acid to give them their tangy zing. So, since citric acid is an organic acid, it can breakdown organic matter more easily than the inorganic acid used in coke. This is due to the buffering capacity of citric acid (and similar low molecular weight organic acids).
Secondly, even though as a whole Coke has a lower pH of 2.5 as compared to that of Mountain Dew (pH 3.1), which means Coke is six times more acidic owing to the logarithmic nature of this measurement, there’s more to it than just that.
pH measures the strength of the acid in a solution. pH does change due to dilution, but it needs massive dilution to change the pH.
Thus it is more appropriate here to measure the amount of acid actually present in the drink. Which can be done by measuring the Titratable Acidity (TA). TA is the amount of acid molecules present (both protonated and unprotonated) in milligrams or grams per liter of solution available for interaction with the tooth surface.
Like you can heat water enough to make steam, you can cool a gas enough to make it into a solid. Although it’s pretty hard to do it for most gases, some gases like argon can be solidified fairly easily (using liquid nitrogen). Here’s how an Argon ice looks like and how it melts, or more appropriately how it sublimes because the liquid state is to small to be perceptible. At some angles you do see some liquid argon dropping and immediately turning into it’s native gaseous state.