In some cuisines, fish recipes include lemon garnish or a vinegar sauce such as sweet and sour sauce. Why these common culinary techniques might be used in terms of organic chemistry?

1 Answer
Jan 17, 2016

Answer:

Lemon garnish and vinegar sauce are used to provide a "tangy" taste to the food.

Explanation:

The "tang" comes from the acids in the foods.

Citrus fruits like lemons contain citric acid.

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The molecule contains three carboxylic acid groups, so we can write its dissociation as

#"H"_3"C"_6"H"_5"O"_7 +"H"_2"O" ⇌ "H"_2"C"_6"H"_5"O"_7^(-) + "H"_3"O"^+#

Vinegar is a dilute solution of acetic acid in water.

#"CH"_3"COOH" +"H"_2"O" ⇌ "CH"_3"COO"^(-) + "H"_3"O"^+#

The hydronium ions cause the taste cells to fire in in a specific manner that gives the characteristic taste sensation.