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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.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


[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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Foods prepared under high heat (such as broiling, frying, hot-oven roasting, and barbecuing) are loaded with glycotoxins.
Extra-lean burgers charbroiled on the gas grill to the same doneness emitted roughly four times more cholesterol, and broiling the fattier meat released 72.7 mg/kg of airborne cholesterol--10 times more than the fried hamburgers.
a) cooking until the internal temperature reaches 180 [degrees] F b) broiling for at least 15 minutes c) pre-cooking in a microwave for three minutes and pouring off the juices before broiling or grilling d) cooking until no pink color remains and the juices run clear e) any of the above f) none of the above
Cooking choices were 2,500 watts of convection baking, roasting and broiling, and 3,000 watts of radiant baking and broiling Single ovens also will be introduce in 1997.
* Before grilling or broiling, pre-cook meat or poultry in the microwave for two to five minutes and throw away the juice.
Other features include automatic re-ignition, VariSimmer settings for all burners and a single knob to set baking, convection baking, convection cooking, mini-broiling, maxi-broiling, convection broiling and self-cleaning.
In the May-June JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, they report that this sugar "forms mutagenic products with most of the amino acids normally present in meat.' They suspect these mutagens, perhaps with others produced by broiling or frying, may help cause the human cancers that have been linked to eating cooked meat.
The good news: your restaurant probably "blackens" its fish with spices and ordinary broiling. Not to worry.
Comparing broiled hamburgers made from 100 grams of regular, lean and extra-lean ground beef, their studies show that cholesterol differences among precooked patties level out during broiling. Similarly, they found that fat in the different grinds varied by only 5 percent after broiling, even though they had a threefold precooked difference (regular being 28.5 percent fat by weight, extra-lean 9 percent).
pre-cook it in a microwave just before broiling or barbecuing
That's why broiling (with the heat source above the food), any type of cooking in a pan, stewing, and baking result in few if any PAHs.