Food & Beverage Science
SpaceBread Rises in 5 Seconds

Sam Wilkinson wrote in to share his SpaceBread experiment, part of the International Space Apps Challenge:

By using the process of bread aeration, by which carbon dioxide is actually forced into the bread, the only ingredients required to produce dough are water, flour and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is mixed with water to form a 8.4×10-2 mol/L solution of carbonic acid, as well as excess aqueous carbon dioxide. If the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide is maintained at 2.5 atm, this concentration of carbonic acid will be maintained as the system enters a dynamic equilibrium between the aqueous carbonic acid and gaseous carbon dioxide. The solution is mixed thoroughly with ordinary flour (and any other required flavourings i.e. salt, sugar etc.) at a (20/7):1 water:flour ratio in a sealed container with the carbon dioxide at a consistent partial pressure of 2.5 atm (about the same pressure as carbon dioxide in a soda bottle). The pressure in the sealed container is then released. This decrease in pressure causes the carbonic acid which is mixed into the flour to be converted into carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide that is evolved from the mixture will be maintained in suspension within the mixture. Combined with microgravity, this will cause an even, leavened dough to be formed.

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

View more articles by John Baichtal