COOL IMAGES: Apple Crisp

Science  13 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5430, pp. 979a
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5430.979a

Next time you bite into a nice crunchy apple, you can thank a landscape of cellulose fibers like this one for the texture your mouth feels. The image, a bit of apple cell wall just 1 micrometer on a side, was taken with an atomic force microscope and later tinted green. A team at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich, United Kingdom, probes food molecules to help figure out what makes things taste goodor bad; their IFR colleagues use the info to develop foods that are tastier, more nutritious, and resist spoilage better. Visit the group's Web site for close-ups of all sorts of structures in and on foods: from long sinewy carrageenan, a polysaccharide used to hold ice cream together, to icky films of bacteria.

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