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Re: Taste: Microwave Heating vs Boiling

At 10:05 AM 02/16/2001 -0500, you wrote:
* * * About this thread * * *
An interesting thing about this thread is the different directions people
have taken. Some apparently viewed the question as dumb and responded
somewhat sternly or responded tongue-in-cheek. Others took it seriously and
looked for physical explanations. Others took it seriously and looked for
chemical explanations.

I take the question seriously and think the difference is mostly chemical,
but could be partly physical-chemical caused by the possibility of
superheating in the microwave. The actual personal experience will be
enhanced/reduced by the quality of water used, the type of utensil used to
contain the water during heating, the length of time the water is heated,
and how the water is used (straight, tea, coffee, etc.)

BTW - are you aware that it is pretty well established that if you make
whipped cream or if you whip egg whites in a copper bowl you will get much
better results than if you whip these things in glass or stainless-steel
bowls? Tests performed seem to indicate trace amounts of copper ions are
the key.

BTW - are you aware that biochemists doing work in enzymology typically have
to be very careful to avoid copper utensils because even trace copper ions
can deactivate many enzymes.

Michael D. Edmiston, Ph.D. Phone/voice-mail: 419-358-3270
Professor of Chemistry & Physics FAX: 419-358-3323
Chairman, Science Department E-Mail
Bluffton College
280 West College Avenue
Bluffton, OH 45817

Someone asked and I gave them my opinion (dissolved metals). However, it
is always interesting to get expert opinion. The directions these things
take are often fun and informative.

Gregory Puskar
Academic Laboratory Manager (304)293-3422 x 1455
Physics Department (304)293-5732 (fax)
West Virginia University
PO Box 6315
Morgantown, WV 26506