Crunchy, Chewy, Creamy, Yummy


  • Margot Vigeant Bucknell University



Thermodynamics always wins. At least, that’s what I say in my thermo class, sometimes remembering to append “Eventually.” That “eventually” is important - if your grandparents, like mine, cooked soup to boiling, you perhaps had the experience of watching an ice cube dropped into a steaming bowl of soup. It melts, and the temperature equilibrates across the soup-system, and while it’s pretty rapid, the squirming and hungry three-year-old-me would tell you quite loudly that it was NOT instantaneous (had I known that word at the time). A component of freshness for many foods the world-over is how far from equilibrium that food is, with the off-the-shelf version a merely ok stand-in for what food-X ought to taste like. The transient behavior of food materials turns out to be la difference between fresh and stale, and one of the most sought after properties to stabilize by food designers.

Author Biography

Margot Vigeant, Bucknell University

Margot Vigeant is Rooke Professor of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University. She teaches chemical engineering thermodynamics, applied food science and engineering, and capstone design.  Margot’s broad research area is effective pedagogy in engineering, including approaches to conceptual learning and inquiry-based activities for thermodynamics and heat transfer.  She is also interested in “making” in engineering and using technology to broaden engagement and access.  Margot completed her doctorate at the University of Virginia.  She is an ASEE Fellow, Apple Distinguished Educator, and chair of the 2022 ASEE Chemical Engineering Summer School.   






Food For Thought