In a remarkable breakthrough, University of Michigan scientist Mark Banaszak Holl and his colleagues have at last managed to determine the molecular structure of jello. Professor Banaszak Holl and his team have used an amazing new technological advance known as AFM, which stands for Atomic Flavor Microscopy. Banaszak Holl describes the technique as like using a “teeny-weeny tongue that licks the molecule many thousands of times to build up a picture of both the shape and flavor of the jello.” The image above clearly shows how the jello molecule is built up of different flavors, including lemon, lime, orange, and strawberry.
Other scientists have been quick to appreciate the signficance of Holl’s work. Professor Vince Pecoraro, holder of the NorthWorst airlines Chair of Inorganic Chemistry (seat 2A) and one of Holl’s senior colleagues in the Chemistry department at UM, praises the work as “remarkably fruitful.” Pecoraro, widely regarded as an authority on jello, continued “for a long time many people doubted whether jello had any real flavor, now thanks to these experiments we can clearly taste the different flavors. My favorite is definitely strawberry.”
In the longer term Holl’s group hope to expand the palette of the tongue to image a wider array of foods and flavors. But Holl concedes that “There are still many challenges ahead.” One difficulty is that the tongue appears not to like spice or acidic foods. “Jalapeno and rhubarb are definitely a problem.”
(A Parody Courtesy Prof. Neil Marsh)