food science

Here’s Why Most Recipes Tell You to Bake at 350 Degrees

If you have done any baking at all, chances are you already have the first line of the recipe memorized: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Yes, it’s a fairly nice round number. Yes, it’s also pretty easy to turn the temperature knob to that setting (not too much twisting). And yes, if you have an oven with a digital setting there aren’t too many keypad buttons to push. But that’s not the reason 350 degrees seems to be cooking’s magic number. It’s the chemistry.

What's My Story: Food Scientist

Mary Ann Lila knew she loved plants when she worked in a greenhouse in her home state of Illinois. Starting at the University of Illinois with this passion, she took every plant science class she could find. When she found out that plants make chemicals that improve the health of plants and animals alike, she found her career path. She is now the director of an institute focused on the discovery and delivery of innovative plant-based solutions to advance human health.