Food preparation is an important
step in meeting the nutritional needs of the family. Food has to be pleasing in
appearance and taste in order to be consumed. Foods like fruits, vegetables and
nuts can be eaten raw but most foods are cooked to bring about desirable
changes. The process of subjecting food to the action of heat is termed as
Objectives of Cooking
Cooking sterilizes food: Above 40 o C the growth of bacteria decreases
rapidly. Hence food is made safe for consumption.
Cooking softens the connective
tissues of meat and the coarse fibre of cereals, pulses and vegetables so that
the digestive period is shortened and the gastro intestinal tract is less
subjected to irritation.
Palatability and food quality is
improved by cooking - Appearance, flavour, texture and taste of food are
enhanced while cooking.
Introduces variety - Different
dishes can be prepared with the same ingredients. (Eg.) Rice can be made into
biriyani and kheer.
Increases food consumption - Cooking
brings about improvement in texture and flavour thereby increasing consumption
Increases availability of nutrients - Example in raw
egg, avidin binds biotin making it unavailable to the body. By cooking, avidin
gets denatured and biotin is made available.