Effect of different cooking methods on the levels of iron and ascorbic acid in green vegetables
(1) James Bowie High School, Austin, Texas, (2) Auditor at NXP Semiconductors
Many people assume that vegetables will provide their daily nutrients irrespective of the cooking method. Various cooking methods have an impact on nutrients have an impact on nutrients such as iron and ascorbic acid. This experiment investigated the loss of iron and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) when vegetables were cooked using three different cooking methods: steaming, microwaving, and boiling. The concentration of iron was evaluated using thiocyanate colorimetry, while the concentration of ascorbic acid was determined using a titration process with iodine solution. Microwaving showed the smallest loss of iron and ascorbic acid across all vegetables. Boiling resulted in the greatest loss in iron and ascorbic acid. Considering the importance of vital nutrients such as ascorbic acid and iron, selecting the optimal cooking method will ensure the right level of nutrients after cooking. Future use of this study could include examining the effect of cooking methods on other essential nutrients that have high deficiency rates in the US such as ergocalciferol (vitamin D), calcium, and other minerals in other vegetables and food items.
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