Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 6, Biology and Biological Technology, Part 5, Fermentations and Food Science

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Overview

Today Chinese cuisine is enjoyed in many parts of the world, yet little is known in the West about the technologies involved in making its characteristic ingredients. H. T. Huang's book is the first history of Chinese food technology in a Western language. It describes the conversion of agricultural commodities into food and drink, and explores the origins, development and scientific basis of traditional Chinese technology as applied to the processing of four food categories: the fermentation of alcoholic drinks from grains; the conversion of soybeans into soyfoods and condiments; the preservation of foods and the production of vegetable oils, malt sugar, starch, etc; and, lastly, the processing and utilization of tea. Where possible the Chinese experience is compared with equivalent systems in the West and elsewhere. The book ends with reflections on how nature, technology and human intervention have shaped the discovery and innovation of processed foods in traditional China.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a welcome addition to the extraordinary Science and Civilization in China (SCC) series...its beauty lies in its details, particularly the numerous photographs and original drawings, the delightful stories, and the loving attention to the everyday technologies..." Technology and Culture

"[An] astonishing and enduring study...[Needham brings] depth of emotion and technical finesse to his task."
Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books

"Perhaps the greatest single act of historical synthesis and intercultural communication ever attempted by one man."
Laurence Picken, Cambridge University

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Literature and sources; 3. Fermentation and evolution of alcoholic drinks; 4. Soybean processing and fermentation; 5. Food processing and preservation; 6. Tea processing and utilisation; 7. Food and nutritional deficiency diseases; 8. Reflections and epilogue.

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