Monday, August 22, 2016

Common Misconceptions about Food

  • Searing meat may cause it to lose moisture in comparison to an equivalent amount of cooking without searing. Generally, the value in searing meat is that it creates a brown crust with a rich flavor via the Maillard reaction.
  • Food items cooked with wine or liquor retain alcohol according to a study which found that some of the alcohol remains: 25 percent after one hour of baking or simmering, and 10 percent after two hours; in either case, however, the amount consumed while eating a dish prepared with alcohol will rarely if ever contain sufficient alcohol to cause even low levels of intoxication.
  • There is no consistent data supporting monosodium glutamate (MSG) as triggering migraine headache exacerbation or other symptoms of so-called Chinese restaurant syndrome. Although there have been reports of an MSG-sensitive subset of the population, this has not been demonstrated in placebo-controlled trials.
  • Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. Penetration depth of microwaves is dependent on food composition and the frequency, with lower microwave frequencies (longer wavelengths) penetrating further.
  • Placing metal inside a microwave oven does not damage the oven's electronics. There are, however, other safety-related issues: electrical arcing may occur on pieces of metal not designed for use in a microwave oven, and metal objects may become hot enough to damage food, skin, or the interior of the oven. Metallic objects designed for microwave use can be used in a microwave with no danger; examples include the metalized surfaces used in browning sleeves and pizza-cooking platforms. Large metallic objects without spikes or narrow apertures may not cause any problems, e.g. a spoon in a cup.
  • The functional principle of a microwave oven is dielectric heating rather than resonance frequencies of water, and microwave ovens can therefore operate at many frequencies. Water molecules are exposed to intense electromagnetic fields in strong non-resonant microwaves to create heat. The 22 GHz resonant frequency of isolated water molecules has a wavelength too short to penetrate common foodstuffs to useful depths. The typical oven frequency of 2.45 GHz was chosen partly due to its ability to penetrate a food object of reasonable size, and partly to avoid interference with communication frequencies in use when microwave ovens became commercially available.
  • The Twinkie has a finite shelf life, listed as approximately 45 days (25 in its original formulation). They generally remains on a store shelf for only 7 to 10 days.
  • Fortune cookies, despite being associated with Chinese cuisine in the United States, were invented and brought to the U.S. by the Japanese. The cookies are extremely rare in China, where they are seen as symbols of American cuisine.
  • A standard cup of brewed coffee has more caffeine than a single shot of espresso. The belief that the reverse is true results from espresso having a higher concentration of caffeine, which is offset by the much larger volume overall of a regular cup of coffee.

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