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Microwave broccoli: How does it affect your nutrients?

The microwave is a great ally in the kitchen, because thanks to it we can both cook and simply heat some food in our day to day in a very fast and affordable way.

Precisely in relation to broccoli, recent research has sought to better understand how broccoli behaves when heated in the microwave, specifically inside bags suitable for the appliance.

As we mentioned, cooking vegetables in microwave bags is becoming a popular home cooking method. While previous research by the CEBAS-CSIC team showed that steam cooking is healthier and microwaves the worst, in terms of degradation of bioactive phytochemicals. Today microwave cooking has evolved, there is a range of products, which are sold in special bags, ready for cooking and consumption. This topic has aroused the curiosity of these researchers, as a continuation of their research.


Research is under way on the subject

The objective of the research published in the scientific journal Food Research International conducted by Erika Paulsen, Diego A. Moreno, Paula M. Periago and Patricia Lema, belonging to the Institute of Chemical Engineering of the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, CEBAS-CSIC, and the Institute of Plant Biotechnology of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT), was to study the effect of cooking in microwave bags compared to traditional microwave cooking (where the vegetable is in direct contact with water) , rated the content of bioactive compounds such as glucosinolates and hydroxycinámic acid derivatives, as well as other quality parameters such as antioxidant capacity, mineral content and microbial load of broccoli flowers.

The influence of cooking time on the content of bioactive compounds has also been evaluated. The study was conducted in two experiments using intact broccoli and preprocessed broccoli in the industry.


The results of the research

Broccoli cooked in a microwave bag for 5 minutes, following label recommendation, showed higher levels of glucosinolates retained compared to the conventional microwave. The results suggest that volatilization could be an important phenomenon in reducing glucosinolates during microwave cooking of broccoli florets, making microwave-safe bags better retain these bioactive compounds.

In addition, broccoli cooked in a microwave bag has a higher capacity and antioxidant content than broccoli cooked in microwaves in a conventional way.

We can conclude, in this way, that the use of microwave-friendly bags is an acceptable system as a whole to retain the main bioactive compounds of broccoli. Without a doubt, it is a quick, easy and considerably clean option to satisfy the modern consumer.