Do Foods Lose Nutritional Value When Microwaved?

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Do Foods Lose Nutritional Value When Microwaved?
Do Foods Lose Nutritional Value When Microwaved?

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Video: Does Microwaving Food Destroy Its Vitamins? 2023, January
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Do foods lose nutritional value when microwaved?

For many, the microwave oven is an almost irreplaceable household item. Its convenience and functionality is self-evident. But is not food loss behind them?

Do foods lose nutritional value when microwaved?
Do foods lose nutritional value when microwaved?

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For many, the microwave oven is an almost irreplaceable household item. Its convenience and functionality is self-evident. But is not food loss behind them?

There is some loss of nutrients in any cooking process (although other nutrients may become more readily available), so it is important to choose a cooking or reheating method that maximizes the nutritional value of the food.

Professor Scott A. Rankin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, spoke about what happens to food under the influence of the microwave in a recent commentary on CNN. In general terms, the specialist states that microwave waves usually have minimal effect on nutrient content.

He noted that nutrient-lowering factors are:

time (the longer the cooking, the more is lost);

  • temperature (more heat - more nutrients are destroyed);
  • the amount of liquid (for example, the more water during cooking, the more likely that nutrients will pass into the liquid).

Microwave cooking is based on the reaction of water molecules in food to microwave radiation, but does not require additional water addition. So, when cooking, for example, broccoli, the water turns green, which indicates that there are many useful substances in the water, including water-soluble vitamins.

Another advantage of the microwave is that it reheats food more evenly. In a conventional oven, heat enters the food from the outside, which leads to overheating of the outer layers, which can cause the breakdown of nutrients.

The microwave oven heats or cooks food in just a few minutes, which greatly enhances the "survival" of nutrients. “Speed ​​refers to the virtues of microwave cooking,” Rankin says.

Microwave steaming is better than submerging food directly in water.

“You can use a steaming tray, or just add a little water to the microwave, cover with plastic, leaving one air outlet open,” says nutritionist Whitney Linsenmeyer, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Research has shown that microwave cooking and heating leads to more dehydration of food than other methods, but this does not significantly affect the nutritional value of food, Rankin added.

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