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Why cook food in the microwave so fast, but not as safe as the oven?

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 10:00 AM (GMT+7)

If you are a person who loves to eat grilled chicken, grilled salmon, but in a hurry or when you are hungry, it only takes a few minutes to cook it in the microwave, but is it safe?

Why is it so fast to cook food in the microwave, but not as safe as the oven?  - first

Conventional ovens ensure food is cooked through and remove pathogens from raw meat.

Microwaves have made it possible for us to cook food in just a few minutes, while using an oven it takes tens of minutes. According to a food scientist, these two types of stoves use completely different heating methods.

Ovens work on conduction, where the coils directly heat the air in the oven. The heat in the air is transferred to your foods until they reach the same temperature – a delicious but slow cooking process.

Microwaves, on the other hand, send a type of electromagnetic radiation called microwaves through the cooking chamber. Instead of heating the air in the microwave, these waves bounce off the inner metal and come into direct contact with the molecules in the food.

Aswathi Soni, a food scientist at the New Zealand-based AgResearch Institute, says how quickly food heats up based on its dielectric properties, the charges on a given molecule. determines how it behaves under electromagnetic frequencies.

Water molecules are most sensitive to electromagnetic waves because they have separate dipoles, a positive and a negative end. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, when exposed to microwaves, water molecules become agitated and begin to vibrate, resulting in thermal energy that cooks portions of food very quickly.

Another difference between an oven and a microwave is that the oven heats up uniformly. The entire oven is at the same temperature, and that heat is transferred evenly to the entire dish or portion of food being cooked.

As for the microwave oven, the electromagnetic waves reflected around the inside of the oven collide with the food unevenly. This creates hot spots and cold spots. The turntable in the microwave has the effect of making the microwave evenly distributed over the food. Even so, the microwave still cooks the food unevenly. This happens because electromagnetic waves rapidly agitate and heat the outside of the food, but not enough to transfer heat from the agitated particles deep into the food.

Food scientist Soni said food scientists consider cooking to be complete only when the interior of the food is fully cooked. Microwaves heat food very quickly and are best suited for thoroughly cooked foods.

The uniform heating of the oven is more reliable in removing pathogens from raw meat. “Stoves and ovens are the safest options for uncooked foods,” concludes Soni.

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