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06/05/2012

Baking bread in space

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    Astronauts may soon be making fresh sandwiches in space thanks to a new process.
    The concept uses the carbon dioxide naturally expelled by the astronauts expel to act as the leavening agent, eliminating the need for yeast. The carbon dioxide is mixed with water in a sealed, pressurized chamber, where it dissolves to form carbonic acid which is then combined with the bread dough in a separate sealed container. Releasing the pressure in the sealed container converts the carbonic acid back to carbon dioxide gas, which, combined with microgravity, produces a leavened, even dough.
    The low temperatures are safer and require less energy, and the sealed environment creates a better crust and helps cut down on crumbs. Flour, the only non-abundant ingredient, could be harvested from unwanted roots or seeds of space cultivated crops.
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