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The preparation of comestibles by heating. In meats, overcooking can result in the production of carcinogenic polycyclic amines; undercooking carries the risk of parasitic (e.g., Taenia solium, T saginatus) or bacterial (e.g., Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp) infections.


[L. coquere, to cook]
The process of heating foods to prepare them for eating. Cooking makes most foods more palatable and easier to chew, improves their digestibility (and sometimes their nutrient bioavailability), and destroys or inactivates harmful organisms, or toxins that may be present. Cooking releases the aromatic substances and extractives that contribute odors and taste to foods. These odors help to stimulate the appetite.


Not all toxic substances are inactivated by heat. Most microorganisms and parasites are destroyed in the ordinary process of cooking when the food is heated to internal temperatures of 160°F to 175°F. Pork must be cooked completely throughout to kill the encysted larvae of Trichinella.


Protein: Soluble proteins become coagulated. Soluble substances: These, including heat-labile vitamins, are often inactivated by boiling, and even mineral substances and starches, although insoluble to a certain extent, may be altered in this process. Starch: The starch granules swell and are changed from insoluble (raw) starch to soluble starch capable of being converted into sugar during digestion and of being assimilated in the system.

References in periodicals archive ?
I used braising steak but the flavourings would work equally well with pork steaks or gigot chops of imported lamb, particularly if it has been frozen.
3 GETTING SAUCY Combine all the braising sauce ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to boil.
Meanwhile, remove the skin from the pork along with any excess fat, cut into portions and reheat in the braising juices.
Braising is where you would usually use second class large pieces of meat and cook at lower temperatures in a stock for longer periods of time.
Add 450g (1lb) lean beef braising steak, cut into cubes, 1 onion, sliced, 1 red chilli, deseeded, sliced, cook until meat has browned.
Strain braising liquid, pressing hard on solids; skim off fat.
Heat circulating water bath to 185 degrees Combine chilled braising liquid and carrots in vacuum bag and seal.
To make the braising sauce, heat the oil in the same frying pan, add the flour and cook for one to two minutes.
5ml/1/2tsp ground mace 1 small egg, beaten For the braising sauce: 15ml/1tbsp olive oil 15ml/1tbsp plain flour 200ml/7fl oz good, hot beef stock 1 x 200g can chopped tomatoes with garlic Dash Tabasco sauce, optional 100ml/3 1/2fl oz red wine 30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped flatleaf parsley METHOD Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180C/350F.
Remove the fat that has risen to the top of the reserved braising liquor (and solidified) and add 15-30ml (1-2tbsp) of the fat to the bean and chorizo mixture at this point.
A Red or white wine is good but if you can find a good pork sausage then try braising them in cider as pork and apples go well together.
Heat oil in large flameproof casserole and brown braising steak over fairly high heat.