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Introduction to Cooking Essay

Carbohydrates – Starches and sugars are present in foods in many forms 2 Most Important Changes in Carbohydrates Caused by Heat are: 1. Caramelization – browning of sugars; browning of sauteed veggies and golden colour of breads are sample of Caramelization 2. Gelatinization – when starches absorb water and swell; a major principle in the thickening of sauces and in the production of breads and pastries *ACIDS inhibit gelatinization. A sauce thickened with flour or starch will be thinner if it contains acid. FRUIT & VEGETABLE FIBER FIBER – group of complex substances that give structure and firmness to plants. Fiber can’t be digested.

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– The softening of fruits vegetables in cooking is part of the breaking down of fiber. – Sugar makes fiber firmer – Baking soda makes fiber softer. Vegetables become mushy and lose vitamins PROTEINS – a major component of meats, poultry, fish, eggs & milk products – consist a long chain of components called amino acids COAGULATION – when the proteins unwind, they become attracted to each other and form bonds – the coagulated proteins form a solid network of bonds and become firm – most proteins complete coagulation are cooked at 160-186°F MAILLARD REACTION – is what happens when meat browns – happens only on the dry surface of food.

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CONNECTIVE TISSUES – special proteins present in meat (separates the meat from the bone) FATS – are present in meat, fish, poultry, egg, milk products. – Important medium for frying – Liquid fats are called OIL – When heated, they begin to breakdown – When hit enough, they begin to smoke and deteriorate rapidly.

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