Finding cosmos in food

A universal analysis of the mechanical, thermodynamic, and electromagnetic properties of food

Our research team is involved in the theoretical and experimental analysis of the physical properties of food (e.g., elasticity, viscosity, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity). We treat food as “soft-matter” and as a dissipative system. At present, the textural properties of food are a research focus. We regard food as a three-dimensional body where velocity-vectors are distributed.

1. Universal aspect of the food physical properties
The phenomenon of rice-boiling shows the transition of the food structure, from the hard rice particle to the soft mesh network, at a fixed temperature. The thermodynamic behavior determines the quality of the rice. The universal behavior appears in the relation between heat and the temperature.
2. Food science research using soft-matter physics
Food is a typical example of “soft-matter” in that its physical properties are characteristic in 1) dissipative, 2) non-linear, 3) chaotic, 4) non-equilibrium, 5) relaxation, 6) complex.
3. Numerical simulation of the viscoelastic properties
Many types of liquid food, such as mayonnaise, are non-Newtonian fluids. The dynamic movement of such fluids is studied by computer simulation. Through this process we are also able to obtain statistical properties such as the fluids’ total energy and the entropy.


Shoichi IchinosePhD

Details are here



Thermodynamic properties (DSC curves) for different kinds of starch. At the dip temperatures, they are “cooked.” The curves show heat (energy) flow into and out from starch.


The differential-curve of stress-deformation of a crispy snack stuff. The wavy zigzag line shows the delicate state change when we eat it.


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