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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 cooking.
Objectives of Cooking
1. Cooking sterilizes food: Above 40 o C the growth of bacteria decreases rapidly. Hence food is made safe for consumption.
2. 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.
3. Palatability and food quality is improved by cooking - Appearance, flavour, texture and taste of food are enhanced while cooking.
4. Introduces variety - Different dishes can be prepared with the same ingredients. (Eg.) Rice can be made into biriyani and kheer.
5. Increases food consumption - Cooking brings about improvement in texture and flavour thereby increasing consumption of food.
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.
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