Does microwaving food compromise the nutritional quality?

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Tony Bunn

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Tony Bunn  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Chris,

As a scientist myself (physicist involved in medical research) I am always entertained and learn a lot from your Friday show with Redi; congrats on this wonderful way of getting the public to understand  what we are passionate about.

Dogma has it that cooking or heating of food in a microwave oven destroys the natural quality of the food and is an unhealthy alternative to conventional processes. As the wavelength of microwave radiation is of the order of 10-12cm how is it possible that this can interfere with structures of the order of microns? I also understand that dipole rotation causes the heating , particular on the abundant water molecules in food, but can this effect also denature proteins, amino acids etc and degrade food quality. I suspect this generally held public view is not correct. Please elaborate.

Kind regards and keep up the excellent show,

Tony

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/09/2011 23:01:02 by _system »

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Offline The Penguin

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Does microwaving food compromise the nutritional quality?
« Reply #1 on: 19/10/2011 17:09:11 »
Firstly you must understand that ANY form of cooking will destroy some nutrients. In regards to microwave versus conventional cooking techniques, the microwave actually retains more nutrient by a slight percentage. This is because of the rapid heating and the retention of water and hence the water soluble nutrients.