A TROWBRIDGE food scientist has published a new book which shows professional masterchefs and keen cooks how to revolutionise the art of using spices for maximum flavour.

Dr Stuart Farrimond’s latest work is ‘The Science of Spice’ published by Dorling Kindersley.

In it, he reveals the science behind the art of cooking with spices from more than 40 key locations from around the world.

He said: “If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that unloved jar of sumac getting dusty at the back of the cupboard, why some spices taste stronger than others, how how to make your own garam masala or five-spice mix, my book has the answers.”

Dr Farrimond, 36, of Polebarn Road, Trowbridge, worked as a hospital doctor at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, but was forced to leave practice about 10 years ago after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour which still needs regular monitoring

He taught at Wiltshire College for about three years before turning to freelance science writing and broadcasting and has since developed a specialism for food science.

Dr Farrimond said: “It has taken about a year to research and write this book, following on from the success of my first book, ‘The Science of Cooking’ , which was a DK bestseller.

“It sets out the science behind blending spices so that people can choose with greater confidence and intuition how to use spices in their everyday cooking.

“They will be able to discover how to combine spices that perfectly complement each other and how to create new flavour combinations that will both excite and delight.”

“With the help of a little practical science, never again will their spice jars languish unused on the shelf.”

The book also contains a periodic table of spices, giving a unique visual guide to the connections between the flavour compounds, the tiny molecules that give each spice its unique flavour.

“By applying simple, scientific principles, we can group spices into one of 12 distinct flavour families, from warming terpenes to tasty pyrazines,” Dr Farrimond said.

“I then show readers how to make pairings between often seemingly unconnected spices, through shared or similar flavour compounds.

“Armed with this new understanding of flavour connections, readers will be able to mix, match and blend spices more confidently in the kitchen.”

The Science of Spice includes more than 50 in-depth profiles, from the familiar flavour of paprika and cinnamon, to lesser-spices such as amchoor and grains of paradise.

The aim is to inform readers about the history, location and purpose of each spice, and explore their unique flavour profiles, along with tips on how to prepare each blend and how to use them in your cooking.

“In each profile, I have included tips for buying and storing spices, food pairings and blends to try, and have offered expert advice on the best ways to cook with individual spices to release the maximum flavour.”

The Science of Spice is published by DK this month, price £20. It is available online and at most good book shops.

It is the perfect gift for masterchefs and foodies who want to take their cooking to new heights and learn how to use spices with creativity and confidence.

It is likely to become one of those books that professional chefs and home cooks will turn time and time again.