Researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) just conducted a study in microgravity to see if it is possible to cook French fries to an edible level in space.
The problem of cooking in zero gravity is manifested in the fact that for this you need to create buoyancy conditions – a phenomenon that causes oil bubbles to come out of the surface of potatoes – it does not occur in space due to the lack of gravity. Scientists explained that without the buoyancy, the bubbles would not float up and would not stick to the surface of the potato. As a result, the potatoes will be undercooked, and a film of steam will form around it. But the ESA team was still able to cook French fries in microgravity laboratory conditions.
Scientists have tackled the problems of cooking in space as part of a study to reveal how microgravity affects the frying process. ESA conducted two flights using an aircraft that flew in an arc to create zero gravity conditions. This process is known as “parabolic flight.” The plane rises to a certain height, and then begins a controlled drop, providing 22 seconds of weightlessness.
🍳 What a better way to start your Sunday than with a fry-up?
But have you ever tried frying in zero-g?
As we prepare for missions to the #Moon and on to Mars, you will be happy to hear that one staple comfort food, fries, is not out of reach 🍟
— ESA (@esa) June 4, 2023
During the time the potatoes were fried in microgravity, a high-speed camera with high resolution recorded the dynamics of the bubbles, including their growth rate, size, distribution and exit velocity from the surface of the potato. Also measured the internal temperature of the potato and the boiling point of the oil.
“It is seen that even in the absence of buoyancy i.e., during parabolas, vapour bubbles still detach and depart from the surface of potato permitting hot oil to maintain contact with the potato surface and leading eventually to a fried product. The results of the present study provide primary experimental evidence that frying can occur in space,” the scientists explain.
After this technology is improved, astronauts will continue to eat like people on Earth — they will be able to eat freshly cooked fried food. This study gives hope for food security and the best conditions for the preparation and consumption of food during long space flights to the Moon and Mars.
Earlier we reported on how astronauts in orbit cooked the most delicious space fast food.
According to Wionews
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