Cooking or cooking is the art , technology and craft of preparing food for consumption with or without the use of heat. Cooking Techniques and Ingredients vary widely across the world, from a grilling food to an open fire, using different stoves, to baking in various types of ovens, reflecting the unique environment, economic, and cultural traditions and trends. The ways or types of cooking also depend on the skill and type of training an individual cook has. Cooking is done both by people in their own homes and by professional cooks and chefs in restaurants and other food establishments. Cooking can also occur through chemical reactions with the presence of heat, such as in ceviche , a traditional South American dish where fish is cooked with lemon juice.

Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans. It may have started around 2 million years ago, though.

The expansion of agriculture, trade, trade and transportation between civilizations in different regions. New inventions and technologies, such as the invention of pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation to further enhance the flavor of the dish served. [1]


Phylogenetic analysis suggests that human ancestors may have invented cooking as far back as 1.8 million to 2.3 million years ago. [2] Re-analysis of burnt bone fragments and ashes from the plant Wonderwerk Cave , South Africa, Has Provided evidence Supporting control of fire by early humans there by 1 million years ago. [3] There is evidence that Homo erectus was cooking their food as early as 500,000 years ago. [4] Evidence for the use of homo erectus beginning some 400,000 years ago has wide scholarly support. [5] [6] Archeological evidence from 300,000 years ago, [7]in the form of ancient hearths, earth ovens , burnt animal bones, and flint , are found in Europe and the Middle East. Anthropologists think that widespread cooking fires started about 250,000 years ago, when hearths started appearing. [8]

More recently, the earliest hearths have been reported to be at least 790,000 years old. [9]

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, food was a classic marker of identity in Europe. In the nineteenth-century “Age of Nationalism ” cuisine became a defining symbol of national identity.

Communication between the Old World and the New World in the Columbian Exchange influenced the history of cooking. The movement of foods across the Atlantic, from the New World, such as potatoes , tomatoes , maize , yams , beans , bell pepper , chili pepper , vanilla , pumpkin , cassava , avocado , peanut, pecan , cashew , pineapple , blueberry , sunflower , chocolate, gourds , and squash , had a profound effect on Old World cooking. The movement of foods across the Atlantic, from the Old World, such as cattle , sheep , pigs , wheat , oats , barley , rice , apples , pears , peas , chickpeas , green beans , mustards , and carrots , similarly changed New World cooking . [10]

The Industrial Revolution brought mass-production, mass-marketing and standardization of food. Factories processed, preserved, canned, and packaged at a wide variety of foods, and processed cereals became a defining feature of the American breakfast. [11] In the 1920s, freezing methods , cafeterias and fast food restaurants emerged.

Along with changes in food, starting early in the twentieth century, governments have issued nutrition guidelines, leading to the food pyramid [12](introduced in Sweden in 1974). The 1916 “Food For Young Children” became the first USDA guide to give specific dietary guidelines. Updated in the 1920s, these guides give shopping suggestions for different-sized families. In 1943, the USDA created the “Basic Seven” chart to make sure that people got the recommended nutrients. It included the first-ever Recommended Daily Allowances from the National Academy of Sciences. In 1956, the “Essentials of an Adequate Diet” brought to the attention of the United States. In 1979, a guide called “Food” addressed the link between too much of certain foods and chronic diseases, but added “fats, oils, and sweets”


Most ingredients in cooking are derived from living organisms . Vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts as from plants, while meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are kinds of fungi . Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt . Cooks can also use wine or spirits .

Naturally occurring ingredients containing various amounts of proteins , carbohydrates and fats . They also contain water and minerals. Cooking involves manipulation of the chemical properties of these molecules.


Carbohydrates include the common sugar, sucrose (sugar table), disaccharide , and such simple sugars as glucose (made by enzymatic splitting of sucrose) and fructose (from fruit), and starches from sources such as cereal flour, rice, arrowroot and potato .

The interaction of heat and carbohydrate is complex. Long-chain sugars such as starch tend to break down into simpler sugars when cooked, while simple sugars can form syrups . If sugars are heated then all water of crystallizationis driven off, then caramelization starts, with the sugar undergoing thermal decomposition with the formation of carbon , and other breakdown products producing caramel . Similarly, the heating of sugars and proteins elicits the Maillard reaction , a basic flavor-enhancing technique.

An emulsion of starch with fat or water can, when gently heated, providing thickening to the dish being cooked. In European cooking, a mixture of butter and flour called roux is used to thicken liquids to make stews or sauces. In Asian cooking, a similar effect is obtained from a mixture of rice or corn starch and water. These techniques rely on the simplicity of mucilaginous saccharides during cooking, which causes the familiar thickening of sauces . This thickening will break down, however, under additional heat.


Types of fat include vegetable oils , such as butter and bacon , and corn and flax oils. Fats are used in a number of ways in cooking and baking. To prepare stir fries , grilled cheese or pancakesThe pan or griddle is often coated with fat or oil. Fats are also used as an ingredient in such cookies, cakes and pies. Fats can reach temperatures higher than the boiling point of water, and are often used to frying, deep frying or sautéing. Fats are used to add flavor to food (eg, butter or fat bacon), prevent food from sticking to pans and create a desirable texture.


Edible animal material, Including muscle , offal , milk, eggs and egg whites , contains substantial businesses water equivalent of protein. Almost all vegetable matter (including special vegetables and seeds ) Mushrooms have high protein content. Any of these may be sources of essential amino acids . When proteins are heated they become denatured (unfolded) and change texture. In Many cases, this causes the structure of the material To Become softer or more friable – meat Becomes cookedand is more friable and less flexible. In some cases, proteins can form more rigid structures, such as the coagulation of albumen in egg whites. The formation of a relatively rigid but flexible matrix also provides an important component in baking cakes, and also underpins many desserts based on meringue .


Cooking often involves water, which is often present in other liquids, which is usually added to the ingredients being cooked (typically water, stock or wine), and released from the foods themselves. A favorite method of adding flavor to dishes is to save the liquid for use in other recipes. Liquids are so important to cooking that the name of the cooking method is used in the kitchen , as in steaming , simmering , boiling , braising , and blanching . Heating liquid in an open container in evaporation , which concentrates the remaining flavorand ingredients – this is a critical component of both stewing and sauce making.

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are required for normal metabolism and which the body can not manufacture itself and which must therefore come from external sources. Vitamins come from several sources including fresh fruit and vegetables ( Vitamin C ), carrots, liver ( Vitamin A ), cereal bran, bread, liver (B vitamins), fish liver oil ( Vitamin D ) and fresh green vegetables ( Vitamin K ). Many minerals are also essential in small quantities including iron, calcium , magnesium , sodium chloride and sulfur ; and in very small quantities copper, zinc and selenium. The micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins [13] in fruit and vegetables can be destroyed or eluted by cooking. Vitamin C is especially prone to oxidation during cooking and can be completely destroyed by protracted cooking. [14] [ not in citation Given ] The bioavailability of Some vitamins Such As thiamin , vitamin B6 , niacin , folate , and carotenoids are cooking with Increased by being white freed from the food microstructure. [15] Blanching or steaming vegetables is a way of minimizing vitamin and mineral loss in cooking.


There are very many methods of cooking, most of which have been known since antiquity. These include baking, roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, smoking, boiling, steaming and braising. A more recent innovation is microwaving. Various methods use different levels of heat and moisture and vary in cooking time. The method is greatly affected by the outcome of certain foods. Some major hot cooking techniques include:

Roasting – Barbecuing – Grilling / Broiling – Rotisserie – Searing
Baking – Baking Blind – Flashbaking
Boiling – Blanching – Braising – Coddling – Double steaming – Infusion – Poaching – Pressure cooking – Simmering – Smothering – Steaming – Steeping – Stewing – Vacuum flask cooking
Fry – Deep frying – Hot salt frying – Hot sand frying – Pan frying – Pressure frying – sautéing – Stir frying
Steaming works by boiling water. the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. By many it is considered a healthy form of cooking, holding nutrients within the vegetable or meat being cooked.
In foil – The food is put into a pouch and then baked, allow its own moisture to steam the food.
Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smoldering material, most often wood.

Health and safety

Food safety

Cooking can prevent many foodborne illnesses that would otherwise occur if the food is eaten raw. When heat is used in the preparation of food, it can kill or inactivate harmful organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, as well as various parasites such as tapeworms and Toxoplasma gondii . Food poisoning and illness from other uncooked or poorly prepared food May be Caused by bacteria Such As pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli , Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter , viruses Such As noroviruses , and protozoa Such As Entamoeba histolytica. Bacteria, viruses and parasites may be introduced through salad, meat that is uncooked or rare , and unboiled water. [16]

The sterilizing effect of cooking depends on temperature, cooking time, and technique used. Some food spoilage bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum or Bacillus cereus can form spores that survive boiling, which then germinate and regrow after the food has cooled. This makes it unsafe to cook more than once. [17]

Cooking increases the digestibility of many foods which are inedible or poisonous when raw. For example, raw cereal grains are hard to digest, while kidney beans are toxic When raw gold Improperly cooked due to the presence of phytohaemagglutinin , qui est inactivated by cooking for at least ten minutes at 100 ° C (212 ° F). [18]

Food safety depends on the safe preparation, handling, and storage of food. Food spoilage bacteria proliferate in the ” Danger zone ” temperature range from 40 to 140 ° F (4 to 60 ° C), which may not be stored in this temperature range. Washing of hands and surfaces, and avoiding the risk of cross contamination, are good practices in food preparation. [19] Foods prepared on plastic cutting boards may be less likely to [20] [21] Washing and disinfecting cutting boards, especially with poultry, or seafood, reduces the risk of contamination. [21]

Effects on nutritional content of food

Proponents of raw foodism argues that cooking food increases the risk of some of the detrimental effects on food or health. They are out of the ordinary when cooking with vegetables and containing vitamin C , the vitamin gets into the kitchen and becomes degraded through oxidation. Peeling vegetables can also substantially reduce vitamin C content, especially in the case of vitamin C in the skin. [22] HOWEVER, HAS research That shown in the specific case of carotenoids A Greater proportion is absorbed from cooked vegetables than from raw vegetables. [14]

German research in 2003 showed significant benefits in reducing breast cancer when large amounts of raw vegetables were included in the diet. The authors attribute some of this effect to heat-labile phytonutrients . [23] Sulforaphane , a glucosinolate breakdown product, qui May be found in vegetables Such as broccoli , has-been shown to be protective contre prostate cancer , HOWEVER, much of it is destroyed When the vegetable is boiled. [24] [25]

The USDA has studied data for 16 vitamins, 8 minerals, and alcohol for approximately 290 foods for various cooking methods. [26]


In a human epidemiological analysis by Richard Doll and Richard Peto in 1981, a large percentage of cancers. [27] Studies suggest that around 32% of cancer deaths can be avoided by changes to the diet. [28] Some of these cancers may be caused by carcinogens in food-induced cancer, although it is often difficult to identify the specific components of a cancer risk. Many foods, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens . [29]

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are thought to increase cancer risk in humans. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that ate beef rare or medium-rare-medium-rare- [30] While in the United States, the National Cancer Institute states that cooking meat below 212 ° F (100 ° C) creates “negligible amounts” of HCAs. Also, microwaving meat before cooking may reduce HCAs by 90% by reducing the time needed for the meat to be cooked at high heat. [30] Nitrosamines are found in some foods, and may be produced by some of the processes of proteins or of nitrites used as food preservatives; These products have been found to be carcinogenic, with links to colon cancer. Ascorbate , which is added to cured meat, however, reduces nitrosamine formation. [29] [31]

Research has shown that grilling, barbecuing and smoking meat and fish increases levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In Europe, grilled meat and smoked fish are a major contributor to dietary intake of dietary fatty acids. [32] However, in the US, grilled / barbecued meat is the second highest contributor to the known intake of PAH carcinogen benzo [a] pyrene at 21% after ‘bread, cereal and grain’ at 29%. [32]

Baking, grilling or broiling food, especially starchy foods, until a significant amount of known concentrations of acrylamide , a known carcinogen from animal studies; its potential to cause cancer in humans at normal exposures is uncertain. [33] Public health authorities recommend reducing the risk by avoiding overly browning starchy foods or meats when frying, baking, toasting or roasting them. [33]

Other health issues

Cooking dairy products can reduce a protective effect against colon cancer. Researchers at the University of Toronto suggest that ingesting uncooked or unpasteurized dairy products (see also Raw milk ) may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer . [34] Mice and rats fed uncooked sucrose, casein, and beef tallow had one-third to one-fifth the incidence of microadenomas and mice fed the same ingredients cooked. [35] [36] This claim, however, is contentious. According to the Food and Drug Administration of the United Stateshealth benefits. “The small quantities of antibodies in the intestinal tract are not absorbed in the intestinal tract,” says Barbara Ingham, PhD, associate professor and extension food scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “There is no scientific evidence that raw milk contains an anti-arthritis factor or that it enhances resistance to other diseases.” [37]

Heating sugars with proteins or fats can produce advanced glycation end products (“glycotoxins”). [38] These have been linked to aging and health conditions such as diabetes and obesity. This, then, causes an entirely different type of cooking, related to diets specifically for health conditions, including diabetes. [39]

Deep fried food in restaurants peut high level of trans fat , qui est pour augmenter Known levels of low-density lipoprotein That in turn May Increase Risk of heart diseases and other conditions. However, many fast food chains have been switched to trans-fat-free alternatives for deep-frying. [40]

Scientific aspects

The application of scientific knowledge to cooking and gastronomy has become known as molecular gastronomy . This is a subdiscipline of food science . Important contributions-have-been made by scientists, chefs and authors Such As Herve This (chemist), Nicholas Kurti (physicist), Peter Barham (physicist), Harold McGee (author), Shirley Corriher (biochemist, author), Heston Blumenthal (chief) , Ferran Adria (chef), Robert Wolke (chemist, author) and Pierre Gagnaire (chef). [quote needed ]

Chemical processes central to cooking include the Maillard reaction – a form of non-enzymatic browning involving an amino acid, a reducing sugar and heat. [41]

Home-cooking and commercial cooking

Home cooking has traditionally been carried out informally in a home or around a communal fire , and can be enjoyed by all members of the family. [42] Cooking is also carried out outside of personal quarters, for example at restaurants, or schools. Bakeries have been one of the earliest forms of cooking, and have been serving the kitchen of the kitchen as an additional service. In the present day, factory food preparation HAS Become common, with many “ready-to-eat” foods being prepared and cooked in factories and home cooks using a mixture of scratch made , and factory made foods together to make ameal . The nutritional value of home-made foods. [43] Home-cooked meals tend to be healthier with fewer calories, and less saturated fat , cholesteroland sodium on a per calorie basis while providing more fiber , calcium , and iron . [44] The ingredients are also directly sourced, so there is control over authenticity, taste, and nutritional value. The superior nutritional quality of home-cooking could therefore play a role in preventing chronic disease . [45]Cohort studies following the elderly over the course of 10 years, which shows how much they eat when they eat their own meals, and when controlling for confounding variables. [46]

“Home-cooking” may be associated with comfort food , [47] and some commercially produced foods are presented through advertising or packaging “home-cooked”, regardless of their actual origin. quote needed ]

Commercial cooking methods have evolved to a point where many of the ingredients and techniques are used in commercial cooking. quote needed ]

See also

Main article: Outline of food preparation
  • Carry over cooking
  • Control of fire by early humans
  • Cookbook
  • Cooker
  • Cooking weights and measures
  • Cooked
  • Culinary arts
  • Culinary profession
  • Cooking school
  • Dishwashing
  • Food and cooking hygiene
  • Food industry
  • Food preservation
  • Food writing
  • Foodpairing
  • Gourmet Library and museum
  • High altitude cooking
  • International food terms
  • List of cooking appliances
  • List of cooking techniques
  • List of cuisines
  • List of movies about cooking
  • List of food preparation utensils
  • List of ovens
  • List of stoves
  • Nutrition
  • Recipe
  • Scented water
  • Spices
  • Staple (cooking)


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