Steaming Vegetables

January 27/,i>Biotech Law Weekly -- Scientists discuss in "Preferences for Steaming of Vegetables" new findings in life sciences. "Steaming retains vitamins and phytochemicals in vegetables better than boiling; thus, it is important to promote this cooking method. The present study aimed to determine what vegetable would be best to use in a campaign to promote steaming," investigators in Aberdeen, U.K., report.

"Carrots, broccoli and green cabbage were boiled, steamed or microwave steamed. Untrained assessors (n=50) evaluated the sensory properties of appearance, texture, taste and overall acceptability using a hedonic rating test on a scale from 1-9. Average scores for overall acceptability were calculated for each type of cooking according to the assessors' usual cooking method. For all features, steaming and microwave steaming were rated significantly higher than boiling for broccoli (for acceptability 6.2 and 7.1 versus 5.1; p<0.001), whereas carrots were similarly considered better for flavor and overall acceptability. Generally, cabbage was rated lower for all features, with no differences amongst the cooking methods (4.9-5.2 for acceptability). Only two of 21 subjects who usually boil vegetables preferred the boiled vegetables in the present study. Generally, steaming and microwave steaming were preferred for certain vegetables, even by those who normally boil them," wrote C. Rennie and colleagues, Robert Gordon University.

The researchers concluded: "Barriers to change need to be considered when planning the promotion of steaming as a regular method of cooking vegetables, although it may be more convincing to use vegetables such as broccoli that are perceived as being most acceptable when steamed."

Rennie and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics ("Preferences for Steaming of Vegetables." Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 2010;23(1):108-10).

For additional information, contact C. Rennie, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

From the February 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition