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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.

Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
governments should introduce policies and incentives to reduce upfront costs for example duty exemptions for cooking technologies such as pressure cooker which have demonstrated to slash cooking time, similar to what is offered on solar PV components.
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Well, it seems ladies, while we were asking this question, men were busy cooking slow roast chicken, waffles with kiwi sauce, hummus and crackers and mango soufflE[umlaut].
The Premier League club teamed up with clubs of a totally different kind as part of a national Let's Get Cooking campaign.
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