When you sit down to go to town on your Thanksgiving spread today, don't forget that there's a reason that your cranberry sauce is full and thick, and that your turkey is perfectly plump and juicy. And that reason is science, as this video explains.

A lot of these techniques for improving upon the time-honored tradition of our late November feast have only recently become common practice. Take for example, the main event—in the past, turkey might have had a rep for being dry and bland. These days, you might brine the bird in a hours-long salt bath to make it tender and delicious. Eventually, the salt raises the turkey's capacity for holding moisture through a little reverse osmosis.

But it doesn't stop with ol' gobbler. There are several other dishes probably on your table today that have been helped along through a little chemistry. Hey, who said science never made anything better? [h/t It's Okay To Be Smart]