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Influence of cooking duration on food

the cooking time heavily influences how cooked a specific food is.

What is the concrete influence of the cooking time on a specific food ?


Objective: Prove that the length x is proportional to the sqare root of cooking time t




Objective: Prove that the elasticity of pasta depend on time t and define scientifically "Al Dente"

What is the concrete influence of the cooking time on a specific food?

Aim of the Experiment:

Objective: how the cooking time influences the cooked radius of the potato ?

Proving that x ∝ sqrt(t)

Equation of the convection process is:
x ∝ K*s*sqrt(t)*f(T-Tc)

Convection: Heat process found in cooking method, like boiling the potatoes.

- K the thermal diffusivity of the food

- s the specific heat of surrounding fluid (water)

- T the temperature of fluid

- Tc the required final temperature (center of potato)

x ∝ K*s*sqrt(t)*f(T-Tc)

Chickpea flour

- Use a beaker and fill 100 mL of water
- measure length for 150mL
- put potato on water and measure water level
- cross-product to get volume of water + potato
- substract water volume to get volume of potato

Our Experimental set-up

- put potato in boiling water during various times
- remove it and put it in cold water to stop cooking
- cut it in half to observe inside
- measure translucent ring (x) in 3 differents points

uncertainty of caliper is 0.01cm (his precision)



Standard Deviation :

Calcul and measure:


Potato 1: 170 - 100 = 70mL = 70cm3
Potato 2: 163 - 100 = 63mL = 63cm3
Potato 3, 4, 5 and 6: 150 - 100 = 50cm3

Graphics x(t)

x : length of the translucid ring
t : cooking time

blue: modelisation of function x(t)
red: "normal" square root function

-> x(t) looks like a square-root function ?


graph x(t=sqrt(t))

x ∝ sqrt(t) is verified

graph without modelisation of sigma(t) and x(t)

graph with modelisation of sigma(t) and x(t)

convection equation is proved by our experiment

x(t), length of the cooked ring depending on time ressembles a square root function

x(sqrt(t)) is a linear function, so x is proportional to sqrt(t).

standard deviation sigma(t) depending on time.


Need value or expression of K, s, and a thermometer for T
Better material: more potatoes , same properties
Study other foods for others properties

Conclusion and suggestion for future work

Table with our values

Pasta Lab Work

45' preparation time

-Shorter cooking time results in stiffer pasta

-"Al dente" is the perfect middle between stiff and soft -> 8 minutes cooking time

-Better results with better equipment and measuremnt methods

-Some of our values are most likely wrong due to small imprecisions


Thank you!