Aims and objects of cooking food
To cook any type of food it is essential to apply heat to the food and to develop the desired temperature in order to cook food, depending upon its characteristics.
The main aim of cooking food is to make sure it is cooked. To see that it is cooked it needs to undergo a change of state i.e. some physical and some chemical changes should occur. These changes should be acceptable.
The main object of cooking food is to make it easy to masticate and chew and to make it easily digestible. The cooking process does the desired work. It affects the constituents of food; it swells up carbohydrates and takes out the starch. Cooking breaks the cellulose of vegetables. It will soften some of the connective tissues of meat to make it easily digestible.
Objectives of Cooking Food: Cooking food brings the following changes too:-
– It makes the food presentable and eye appealing to stimulate the appetite which secretes the digestive juices and helps indigestion.
– It changes colors of the food item to bright and pleasing to eye.
– It develops the flavor of the dish and brings the aroma to suit to the palate. 0 It sterilizes the food partially.
– With proper storage facility the cooked food can be kept for a longer time
– It retains the nutritive value of the food
– It gives a chance of make different dishes from single raw material
– It brings variety to the menu.
– It destroys most of the bacteria causing spoilage of food.
To understand the aim and objective of cooking food it is must to know about 1h effect of heat on the constituents of food.
Effect of Heat on Food:
If we know it, why food act as they do when cooked, it will be easy to understand how to cook them as we want. Foods are composed of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, mineral, vitamin and pigment contents.
Effect of Heat on Proteins:
i) Protein is a major component and found maximum in meat (myosin), fish, poultry, egg (albumin), wheat (gluten), pulses (legumin), milk and milk products and it is present in nuts and beans in small amounts.
Coagulation of Proteins:
Proteins coagulate or become firm on heating. The excessive heat toughens and shrinks it completely. Most proteins coagulate or get cooked at 160-185F.
Browning of Proteins:
Once the moisture from within has evaporated and the protein has completel coagulated, the browning takes place e.g. browning of egg white; while frying of eggs.
Effect of Acids on Proteins:
Acids such as tomato, lime and vinegar act on protein as follows:
i) They speed up coagulation.
ii) Help to dissolve some connective tissues
Connective tissues are special protein present in meat( Elastin, Collagen) some Of which are tough and some such as collagen in presence of moisture and heat get converted in to gelatin dissolve.
Effect of Heat on Carbohydrates:
Starch and sugars are both carbohydrates (CHO) and found in food. Certain fruits also contain some amount of CHO. Starch converts into dextrin (a sweetish substance) and Cellulose gets soft in the presence of moist heat. Acids will retard or inhibit gelatinization a sauce thickened with starch or flour will be much thinner than the normal if an acid is present.
When starches absorb water they swell up. This is common while preparing pasta, rice, bread and bread products, thickening of sauce and soups and grains.
In the absence of moisture browning of sugars results in caramelized product. Sauté of vegetable and seared meats are good example.
Effect of Heat on Fats:
Fats are present in meats, fish, poultry, egg, milk, nuts and whole grain (very less amount). Once heated at high temperature fats decompose into glycerol and fatty acids. If cooked further the glycerol converts into acerolin which is not good for digestive system.
Effect of Heat on Minerals:
Minerals of the food remains unchanged with induction of heat.
Effect of Heat on Vitamins:
Vitamins largely are not affected with heat except Vitamin -C which is lost or diminishes With heat.
Cooking of food is essential for safe human consumption, The effect of heat 0n Protein, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Mineral & Vitamin are distinct and desirable. Objectives of cooking food are to make food Presentable, easily digestive and Safe to eat.