How Cooking Alters Food

Reading Guide

Think of an Example Look over the Key Concepts for this section. Think of an example of how or when you could use one of the skills from the Key Concepts. Thinking of how you might apply a skill can help motivate your learning by showing you why the skill is important.

Content Vocabulary

• dry cooking technique • coagulate

• evaporate • pigment j moist cooking technique j caramelization j combination cooking

Academic Vocabulary subject enhance

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Compare and contrast different cooking methods.

• Explain how cooking affects a food's nutritive value, texture, color, aroma, and flavor.

Main Idea

Cooking is heating food to transform it in some way. Food is affected in different ways by different cooking techniques.

Graphic Organizer

As you read, you will discover five changes in food made by cooking. Use a herringbone diagram like this one to list the changes.

Herringbone Graphic Organizer

Jm Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center ** at for a printable graphic organizer.

t J Mathematics

NCTM Data Analysis and

Probability Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.


NSESB Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

NSES B Develop an understanding of the structure and properties of matter.

Social Studies

NCSS IA Culture Analyze and explain the ways groups, societies and cultures address human needs and concerns.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Suppose the restaurant where you work offers chicken for dinner. There can be many different results, depending on how you choose to cook the chicken. You use very different cooking techniques to cook an egg, grill a steak, or stew tomatoes. Although each technique involves heating the food, they all use a different process to transfer heat to the food.

The degree of change that occurs during the cooking process depends on the length of cooking time, the temperature, and the cooking technique you use. Some methods will produce a great deal of change, while others will not produce very much change. The three cooking techniques are dry, moist, and a combination of both.

Dry Cooking

A dry cooking technique uses oil, fat, the radiation of hot air, or metal to transfer heat. No moisture is used in this cooking process. Any moisture that comes from the food evaporates into the air. To evaporate means that a liquid escapes from a pan as a vapor. Baking and sauteing are good examples of dry cooking techniques. You will learn more about using dry cooking techniques in Section 15.2.

Moist Cooking

A moist cooking technique uses liquid instead of oil to create the heat energy that is needed to cook the food. Boiling and simmering are good examples of moist cooking techniques. You will learn more about how to use moist cooking techniques in Section 15.3.

Combination Cooking

Combination cooking uses both moist and dry cooking techniques. This kind of cooking is a two-step process. You start by using one technique and finishing with the other. For example, for stew, you brown the meat, a dry cooking technique. Then, you simmer the meat and vegetables with seasonings, a moist technique. The objective of combination cooking is to build upon food flavors.

What Different Cooking Procedures
Method Knowledge You must know many different cooking methods to work in a professional kitchen. Why is it important to understand how different cooking methods work?
Colorfull Cooked Meals

Perfect Timing Perfectly cooked vegetables should be colorful and flavorful. What happens to vegetables that have been overcooked?

If you understand each type of cooking technique, you can combine them in ways that create great-tasting food. You will learn more about how to use combination cooking techniques in Section 15.3.

Distinguish What are the key differences between the dry, moist, and combination cooking techniques?

Changes in Cooked Food

A food's nutritive value, texture, color, aroma, flavor, and appearance do not stay the same after cooking. The cooking technique you choose can affect all of these factors. It is important to know how food will change after it is cooked.

Nutritive Value

The length of time food is cooked and the cooking technique you use determine how much nutrition a food will retain. Raw foods lose more nutritive value the longer they cook. In fact, certain cooking techniques can actually speed up nutrient loss. For example, boiling green beans extracts nutrients in two ways. Nutrients are destroyed simply because the green beans are exposed to heat. Nutrients also are lost during boiling because they are diluted in the liquid.

You might think that if you steam the green beans, you will maintain all of the nutrients. Although steaming is one of the best ways to minimize nutrient loss, exposure to heat will still extract some nutrients from the green beans. However, because the vegetables are cooked by the steam, and not in water, they will not lose nearly as many nutrients as if they had been boiled.


If you have ever overcooked vegetables, you have seen how cooking can change the texture of food. During cooking, moisture is lost, food tissue breaks down, and proteins coagulate. All of these factors change the texture of cooked food.

When heat is applied, the proteins in food coagulate. This means that they change from a liquid or semiliquid state to a drier, solid state. The longer that you subject, or expose, the proteins to heat the firmer and more solid they will become. For example, compare the difference in t exture between a soft-cooked egg and a hard-cooked egg. If you simmer an egg for three to five minutes, you will produce a soft-cooked egg with a partly solid white and a semiliquid yolk. To produce a hard-cooked egg with both a solid white and yolk, the egg must be simmered for 8 to 10 minutes. The length of time cooked will affect the texture of the egg white and yolk.

Coagulation also occurs in meat proteins as heat is applied during cooking. Meat proteins lose some moisture as the protein becomes more solid during cooking. Long, slow cooking techniques and moderate heat will make some meats tender, flavorful, and juicy. However, using too much heat can toughen the protein in those same meats. This happens because too much moisture is lost.


The cooking process also affects the color of food. For example, certain ingredients that are commonly used to cook vegetables, such as lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda, can change the color of vegetables. There are cooking techniques, such as blanching, that can help keep the color of vegetables. (You will learn about blanching in Section 15.3)

Fruits and vegetables get their unique colors from naturally occurring pigments. A pigment is the matter in cells and tissue that gives them their color. Common pigments in foods include chlorophyll (green vegetables), flavonoids (red, purple, and blue vegetables), and carotenoids (yellow, orange, and red vegetables). Many foods have more than one type of pigment. Remember that the longer that fruits and vegetables are cooked, the more their color will change.

Likewise, as meat cooks for extended periods of time, moisture is extracted. The meat will lose its deep-red color as it cooks. These color changes happen at different temperatures.

Texture Changes When highprotein foods are cooked, their texture changes. How can you tell which egg has been cooked longer?

As the internal temperature of meat reaches between 140°F and 160°F (60°C and 71°C), the redness decreases significantly. The same thing happens when the meat reaches an internal temperature between 168°F and 176°F (76°C and 80°C). That is why the inside of a rare steak is red, a medium rare steak is pink, and a well done steak is brownish gray. Remember, however, that using a thermometer to measure internal temperature is the only safe way to determine if meat is done.


The aroma created from cooking food can be as appealing as the flavor and presentation of the final dish. Cooking techniques that use fat as an ingredient or as a way to transfer heat create an appealing aroma. Caramelization (lker-9-m9l-9-,za-sh9n), or the process of cooking sugar to high temperatures, is what creates these pleasing aromas. As the sugar in the food turns brown, a rich aroma is produced. Caramelization can also affect the color and flavor of food.


The cooking process also affects the flavor of food. If you have ever eaten overcooked meat or vegetables, you know that overcooking can ruin the flavor. However, if you use the correct cooking technique, you can actually enhance, or increase the quality of, the flavor of food. For example, if you grill meats over charcoal or woods such as hickory and mesquite, it will give them an appealing, smoky flavor. Foods that are cooked with dry-heat methods taste rich because of the caramelization that occurs. Moist cooking techniques help bring out a food's natural flavor.

The flavor of foods can also be changed during cooking by using seasonings and flavorings at different times during the cooking process. Cooking methods that use liquids rather than fats to cook can bring out

Science a la Carte

Color Fade

Do you know what gives green vegetables their color? Green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, contain two types of the pigment chlorophyll. One type of chlorophyll is a bright bluish-green color. The other type is a yellowish-green color. Green vegetables have about four times more of the blue-green type than the yellow-green type.

To maintain the color of a green vegetable, do not overcook it. Heat from cooking damages the vegetable's cells. This allows the acids that were in the once-living cells of the vegetable to be released. Once exposed to this acid, the chlorophyll changes to a brownish-yellow color.


To complete the following experiment, you will need four broccoli stalks, a pot with a lid, and a second pot without a lid. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in each uncovered pot. Separate the florets, or flowers, of the broccoli. Place half of the broccoli in one pot and cover it with the lid. Place the rest of the broccoli in the other pot without a lid. Cook both pots of broccoli for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, drain each pot and place the broccoli into two separate bowls.


Determine which style of cooking provided a greener vegetable. Examine each bowl. Describe the color and the texture of the broccoli in each bowl. Which dish has the greener broccoli? Explain in a short summary why you think one method of cooking had a greater impact on the color change than the other. i i NSES B Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

flavors in a food. Slow roasting foods will bring out rich flavors. Deep-frying foods creates a unique flavor that is enhanced by the crispness of the food.

It is important to enhance the flavor of food because it increases the appeal of the food to the customer. Appealing food is one of the main factors that will bring back customers to a restaurant. If you do not choose the right cooking method for a food, all other methods to enhance flavor will be wasted.

Another way to enhance the flavor of food is to add seasonings and flavorings before, during, or after the cooking process. These seasonings and flavorings, including herbs, spices, and condiments, will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 16. Not all seasonings and flavorings are used in the same way. Knowing which seasoning to add, and when to add it, is an important part of your culinary training.

does the texture of foods toughen after prolonged exposure to heat?

SECTION 15.1 ^mmMI

Review Key Concepts

1. Describe dry cooking techniques.

2. Explain how cooking can affect the texture of a food.

Practice Culinary Academics Qj Science

3. Procedure Work in groups as directed by your teacher. Wash and peel several carrots and divide them into three even amounts. Cook each group using the following techniques: 1) steam, 2) roast, 3) sear and then braise.

Analysis Sample each group of carrots and evaluate the differences in texture, color, aroma, and flavor. Why are there differences? Summarize your results.

NSES Content Standard B Develop an understanding of the structure and properties of matter.

Social Studies

4. Choose a country and research common cooking techniques that are used in that country. What types of cooking methods are they? Can you predict how these techniques would affect nutritive value, texture, color, aroma, and flavor? Give a five-minute oral presentation on your findings. Use pictures to illustrate cooking techniques.

Internal Temperatures

Although you should be careful not to overcook food, it must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature to be safe. A thermometer shows the minimum safe internal cooking temperatures for various foods.

CRITICAL THINKING What might happen if food is not cooked to the minimum internal temperature?

^^ Mathematics

5. Your sous chef prepared one dozen soft-

cooked eggs and one dozen hard-cooked eggs. Unfortunately, he then mixed the two batches together in one container. What is the probability that if you grab two of the eggs, both will be hard-cooked?

¿SH^fflSE Probability of Dependent Events When two events are dependent (the probability of a second event depends on the outcome of the first), find the probability of each event, and multiply those probabilities together.

Starting Hint For the first selection, the probability that the egg is hard-cooked is 12/24 (or %). However, when you select the next egg, remember that there will be one fewer hard-cooked egg, and one fewer egg overall.

NCTM Data Analysis and Probability Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.

Eft Check your answers at this book's Online Learning Center at

NCSS I A Culture Analyze and explain the ways groups, societies and cultures address human needs and concerns.


Bake, roast, or grill foods to give them a rich flavor.

Continue reading here: Dry Cooking Techniques

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  • veijo
    What happenes to the texture of food during cooking?
    6 months ago
  • seren
    How does cooking develop falvours of food and provide an example of your answer?
    6 months ago
  • Hagos Nasih
    What does moist heat cooking do to the texture?
    12 months ago
  • Tobias
    How stew changes a food nutritive value?
    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    How cooking alters food lab articlws?
    2 years ago
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    Can you explain how cooking of food improved the texture and give an example?
    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
  • Libera
    How cooking affects aromas?
    2 years ago
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    How different ways of cooking mesat changes texture and flavour?
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    How cooking alters food culinary essentials how does caramelization affect the aroma of food?
    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    Does the type of cooking technique change the texture of vegetables?
    4 years ago
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    5 years ago
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    How cooking alters food blanching?
    5 years ago
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