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  • Category: Nutrition

    Do cooking in a microwave oven preserves the nutritional value of the food items?


    Wondering if nutritional value is preserved in a microwave oven? Find advice from experts on this page.

    How cooking in a microwave oven is different than cooking on hot plates or gas stoves? Do cooking in a microwave oven preserves the nutritional value of the food items? Also, what safety precautions should be taken in general while cooking in a microwave oven?
    Experts: do advice.
  • #138859
    Microwave ovens are kitchen appliances which are used to cook or reheat food by emitting microwaves. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation which emit low energy and are generated by magnetrons, found within every microwave oven.
    To understand the difference between microwave and conventional heating,lets dig into its scientific details.
    Microwaves produced within the microwave oven cause 'dialectric heating' which means that,the heat waves bounce around the inside of the oven and are absorbed by whatever is placed in the oven.
    Hence, in order to heat something in a microwave oven, water must be present within the substance. If water is not present, heating will not occur and it would remain cool.

    Thus,we may have observed many times that only the upper surface gets heated up while the insides remain cool. Microwaves will excite the food molecules which are already vibrating at very high speeds, creating molecular friction in the water molecules which get vigorously deformed and transfer heat energy across the food molecules which in turn heats them up very quickly.
    This is much different than any other method of cooking. Other methods such as convection heating ovens heat up food by transferring heat convectionally from the outside to the inside but the cooking times are much longer along with the addition of oil and extra high temperatures required for cooking a food item( say, for example meat dishes and vegetables).

    Thus, the nutritional value will not be significantly affected if you microwave food as compared to the normal cooking process using stoves and ovens, in fact it will preserve more nutrients due to its shorter cooking time.
    It is all a misconception being circulated due to the confusion between ionising properties exhibited by radiation, which we are exposed to even while we are using our mobile phones and TV's.
    The precautions one can take is to use microwave safe ceramic and glass containers for cooking safely and avoid plastic containers as there may be a risk of the plastic reacting with the food particles over time due to consistent usage.

    Regards,
    ar
    "If things go wrong, don’t go with them"

  • #138876
    Cooking in a microwave oven is different than cooking on hot plates or gas stoves because the heat produced by the microwaves produced by magnets whereas in gas cooking heat is produced by burning the gas. It is producing air pollution also and many of the minerals and nutrients get burn. In microwave oven preserves the minerals and nutritional value of the food items. This food is oil and fat free and good for patients.Some safety precautions should be taken while cooking in a microwave oven because there is a danger of radiation. Never operate the oven with open door and come out of kitchen after setting time and pressing on button.
    The greatest wealth in this world is mental peace and good health.

  • #138883
    Cooking in the micro - wave is a healthy form of the cooking and the flavor of the cooked foods are enhanced to some extent since heat received for cooking is the magnetic - wave unlike the electricity in case of heater or employment of gas in a gas oven. Since the entire operation of cooking is shielded from the external environment, it retains all the useful nutrients in it, making the taste palatable and this type of foods seems to be ideal in all the conditions.
    There are certain procedures for the cooking of different stuffs and the same is to be followed as indicated in the booklet provided by the Companies. Over - cooking is to be avoided and time for each stuff should be set as per instruction of the manual so that the food does not remain in the oven beyond the time already set in order to protect from the emitted magnetic - radiation.

  • #139053
    As per your query nutritional value is always preserved when you cook any food with very little water. Microwave is safe when you cook with micro-safe utensils only. The plastic that you use must be of micro-safe utensils only, dont use any plastic for oven. Regarding nutrition it always better to use the method which cooks faster and uses less water. While cooking any food always close the lid and cook even in oven its better you close the lid and cook. So that the nutrition value is not lost much. According to me microwave oven preserves the nutritional value of the food items only when it is cooked with less water.
    Now about your second query that how cooking is done in microwave oven. Actually I am answering you according to what I had read in my microwave oven manual. Microwaves have short length, high frequency, electromagnetic waves which are similar to TV or radio waves. In oven a vacuum tube called Magnetron generates these microwaves which directly penetrates the food and the moisture molecules present in the food. This process of high speed of water molecules releases heat that spreads to other parts of food and help for cooking evenly. For this reason oven cooking is always oil free cooking.
    Now depending the types of oven
    there are convection oven which is used for cooking all type foods and grill oven is used only for heating purpose.
    Hope I your doubt is cleared.


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