Foods are composed of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and water, plus small amounts of other compounds such as minerals (including salt), vitamins, pigments (coloring agents), and flavor elements. It is important to understand how these components react when heated or mixed with other foods.You will then be better equipped to correct cooking faults when they occur and to anticipate the effects of changing cooking methods, cooking temperatures, or ingredient proportions.
In other words, when you know why foods behave as they do, you can understand how to get them to behave as you want them to.
The following discussion is concerned with the physical and chemical reactions that affect the components of food.The nutritional aspects of these components are discussed in Chapter 6.
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