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Old 09-06-2013, 04:21 AM   #15
OLChemist
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I won't recommend going out and getting the drain cleaner:) But lye extracted from ash is not uncommon in food preparation, particularly in traditional recipes.


Video of piki making:

Making Piki Bread - YouTube


UC Division on Agriculture booklet on olive preparation that talks about lye and food safety:

http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8267.pdf


Our ancestors on both sides of the Atlantic were incredibly skilled practical chemists. The calcium ions from the CaOH2 also act as a crosslinking agent foe the proteins and polysaccharides to make a more elastic dough, which is why tortillas can bend and cornbread can't. The basic solution extracts the bitter phenylethaniod from olives. And on an on...

If you ever want to talk traditional dying, I can go on for a while, LOL. Indeed, a few years ago as part of the chem ed program at the annual ACS Southwest Meeting, we had several speakers do programs on the chemistry of Native dyes, pigments and pottery techniques for the high school kids. I tortured a bunch of poor teenagers with the spectroscopy of dyes stuffs used for dying quills.
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