August 9, 2023
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More and more home chefs are using a method of cooking beef that is tastier than the traditional methods they have used up to now.
The new method, which has long been used in the world’s finest restaurants, is called sous vide cooking, which means “under vacuum” in French.
Now new research has found that sous vide cooking is not only more tasty than beef cooked in the conventional ways of boiling or roasting, but also has been found to be a significantly superior way of cooking when it comes to your health.
Your stomach—and the stomachs of hose to whom you serve meat prepared in this way—will thank you, say researchers from the American Chemical Society who have just reported their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The research, which was led by Dr. Wangang Zhang of Nanjing Agricultural University, finds that the sous vide method ensures that the food is more nutritious and more digestible. It is, therefore, less likely to cause you to suffer stomach and intestinal problems as well as pain after eating it.
What is sous vide cooking?
The method used to cook in this way involves placing food in a plastic pouch and sealing it. The meat is then slowly cooked in warm water. When you combine the relatively lower heat in which the meat is cooked, which is generally about 140F, with the lower oxygen conditions—voila!—you have a juicy, tender, evenly cooked steak.
It takes a while to cook, but it is said to be really worth the wait.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Most home chefs and those in regular restaurants either boil beef by cooking the meat in water at 212F or roasting it, which means heating it in an oven above 300F, explains lead researcher Zhang. A while back he and his colleagues wondered whether the technique used in sous vide cooking would be more nutritious than those conventional methods.
So they set about taking a closer look at the sous vide method and compared it with the impact on our health of the other cooking methods that we have always used.
Here is how the researchers describe how they reached the conclusion that sous vide cooking is so much better.
They explain that the heat generated in cooking causes various changes to take place in the oxidation and structure of the proteins that are found in meat. The sous vide process makes a big difference when the body digests and breaks down the meat. It does so by making it easier for the body to break down the proteins into small amino acids or peptides in our digestive system. They are, in turn, absorbed into our bloodstream.
They examined two indicators of protein oxidation. They found that roasted meat was the most highly oxidized. After that came boiled meat, followed by the sous vide beef.
They concluded that the sous vide cooking method causes less protein aggregation and results in fewer changes in the structure of the proteins than the other methods of cooking do.
The research team then simulated the way in which our bodies would digest the meat by placing the varieties of cooked meat in simulated intenstinal and stomach fluids. They found that the meat cooked using the sous vide method released a bigger amount as well as a greater variety of peptides than did the meat that was cooked using the other methods.
Their research showed that the sous vide cooking method improved digestibility of the meat by a large degree when compared with the other ways of cooking it.
Sous vide can also be used in cooking pork, duck, and other forms of meat as well as fish.
The study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.