Slimes, insects, fungi and worms are all essential ingredients in making a wide variety of foods.
The list of ingredients in a food is often extensive, with thousands of ingredients, and it takes time to gather and cook them.
But, new research from researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK shows that cooking is an efficient way to make food.
“The results show that cooking reduces the amount of heat used for cooking by over 50 per cent, so that cooking requires fewer energy to achieve the same level of food safety as boiling,” said Dr James Eadie from the Department of Chemistry at the university.
Dr Eadier said the research, published in the journal Science, showed that the heat needed to heat food in a home stove is significantly less than the heat required to cook a food in an oven.
“Our research is the first to demonstrate the effect of cooking on the heat consumption of food,” he said.
“It is important to recognise that cooking does not need to be performed with a huge amount of energy to produce food.”
For the study, researchers from the department of chemistry at the UK’s Exeter University studied the effects of cooking a mixture of slime, mushrooms and fungi on food safety and heat transfer.
They analysed data from a laboratory experiment using a food-safe cooking device that could be used in home kitchens.
“We found that cooking increases the amount and amount of steam used to cook food by over 25 per cent,” Dr Eadiest said.
In addition, the results showed that cooking reduced the amount heat needed for cooking and reduced the number of times the food was reheated.
“In our experiment, we used an oven with a heat exchanger, which has the capability of using very little heat, and that’s why we found that we could reduce the amount we had to use for cooking,” he added.
The research team used an experiment that allowed them to study the effects on cooking of using a small amount of water and using a large quantity of salt, a technique that allows the cooking of food in large quantities.
“Using the experiment, the researchers found that boiling food for 15 minutes decreased the amount by 5 per cent and that cooking for 30 minutes reduced the heat by a further 4 per cent.”
They also showed that there was no effect on the temperature at which the heat transfer was occurring.
“Dr Eadsie said the findings had been very encouraging and showed that “cooking can be used to reduce the heat requirements of food production.
“He said the technique could also be used for the production of foods that have a high cooking temperature, such as soups and stews.
Dr Paul Smith, a researcher from the Centre for Food Safety Research at the Centre of Excellence for Food Innovation and Environmental Sciences at the Australian National University, said it was encouraging to see that cooking was a less energy intensive and safer way to cook than boiling.”
What we are seeing is a change in the way we are cooking,” Dr Smith said.”[It] means that cooking could be a way to reduce cooking times, especially in home kitchen kitchens.
This means that home cooks will be able to cook foods at home that have traditionally been cooked in a hot oven.
“He added that this research could help to make cooking more environmentally friendly and that there were potential applications in the food industry.