Why do we always hear "Red Lobster" and think yummy thoughts? Besides it being an amazing food, why do lobsters turn red when boiled?
Lobsters are naturally a dark blue color when in the sea. The darker color helps lobsters to avoid predators in the wild and is likely to have evolved by natural selection, although some creatures can be a bright royal blue.
However, these blue lobsters turn into vibrant red lobsters when plunged into a pot of scalding water.
Scientists at the Manchester University’s school of chemistry have found that a chemical in the shell called astaxantin is behind the change of hue.
Astaxantin is the same colour as cooked lobster, but when the creature is cold it is overridden by a protein called crustacyanin which is dark blue. However, when heated the structure of crustacyanin changes allowing the color of Astaxantin to emerge.
The red lobster color is a food marker to show when food is sufficiently cooked, however, you should always follow cooking guides to avoid overcooking lobsters.
Another neat fact - it is possible to tell of a lobster was boiled alive by looking at its tail. If it is curled under the body, it was alive. If it is straight then, it was dead when cooked.
Pretty cool, huh? I'm ready for some Red Lobster ... delivered from Lobster Gram of course!