Taste and smell the holidays through a chemist' eyes

(11-16-2011)

The "Holiday Season", Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, is upon us and is truly a season for the senses. The Adams State College Faculty Lecture, "Holiday Molecules", by Dr. Marty Jones, professor of chemistry, will focus on several molecules responsible for the odors and tastes of holiday traditions. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Porter Hall (the science building) room 130.

Jones says he enjoys the sights and sounds this time of year -- a nicely trimmed Chemistree on the third floor of Porter Hall, the Music Department's annual gift to the community of the Winterfest Concert, December 4 this year, -- but as a chemist, Jones also thinks of two other senses, smell and taste, that evoke fond memories this time of year. "A freshly-cut fir or balsam tree stirs thoughts of tramping through the snow in an evergreen forest, and also of the terpenes that give rise to that wonderful odor that fills the house. As I prepare our cranberry-orange relish for Christmas dinner, my mouth fairly salivates at the thought that in a day, I will get to taste the wonderful flavors created by the blend of citric acid, ascorbic acid, sucrose, and polyphenolic compounds that are present in the dish."

Come prepared to learn a little organic and natural product chemistry in a friendly and active-learning environment.

All talks are free and the public is invited. Complimentary light refreshments will be offered. For further information on the series of lectures, contact Dr. Robert Astalos, associate professor of physics, at 719-587-7821, or by email: rjastalos@adams.edu.