12 / 04 / 2020

Why are cooking temperatures so important ?

When it is question of cooking impact on foods, you realize many beliefs have become certainties that no-one seems to question. Among such, you must have heard that beyond 42°C, enzymes are destroyed. This is both true and false. One must know that vegetables enzymes for instance, are only useful in its natural environment, in other words in the ground. They thus help photosynthesis of the vegetal’s life. Once it is removed from its natural environment, enzymes live to take it apart and make it rot. Luckily, this process exists, because otherwise, we would be flooded with tons of waste ! These destructive enzymes get activated during cooking, when you slowly rise the temperature. Enzymes can’t stand upward and downward trends. The food must absolutely be seared. If you place it on the Vitaliseur’s sieve, always do so when the water is boiling. This is also why the Chinese, for more than 6000 years, have been soft-steaming food in a wok, cutting food into small pieces, then quickly searing them.

The steam temperature mustn’t exceed 102°C

When you cook under pressure, steam can rise up to 140°C. It is the exact case of Cocotte-Minute®. The time required for the valve to start rotating and cool down is enough for destruction enzymes to be activated (AAO enzymes) and sensitive vitamins then get broken down. This pressure steaming is thus to be avoided. Soft-steaming cuisine (without pressure) has had a remarkable momentum for about three decades. It has even become an argument for pet food ! I’m really glad to be behind the development of soft-steaming, together André Cocard, back in the eighties. We had, back in the beginning, worked with steam-cookers other than couscoussiers. Thirty years ago, couscoussiers were made of aluminum with tiny holes and a flat lid, so the water would fall back onto the couscous grains, moisturizing it during the cooking. No-one had thought that condensation water, by dripping on food, could saturate it, burn it and demineralize it. The more water-saturated foods get (boiling water, pressure-cooker, flat lid cooker), the more nutritional elements get destroyed. We were the first to suggest steamcooking other food than semolina, and imagine a real healthy gastronomy through cooking meats, fish and of course vegetables, fruits, crustaceous or even seashells that way. The Chinese, long before Westerners, had understood how soft-steaming preserved vegetables’ nutritional elements. On the other hand, they rarely cooked meat using this technique and their gastronomy was pretty far from ours. Bamboo baskets are a good approach, but cooking times are long, while the size of holes in the Vitaliseur is designed for a greater efficiency when searing foods and for a better ability to eliminate their toxins (environmental heavy metals or even surface fats). If the cooking temperature is high, its environment isn’t less. You won’t get the same results at all depending on whether you cook with water, steam, oil or in the oven. Critical destruction thresholds thus vary depending on the environment : vitamins get destroyed beyond 102°C with soft-steaming, beyond 42°C in water, beyond 70°C in oils and 120°C in an oven. Not to mention microwave ovens that destroy the electrons that preserve the antioxidant virtue of foods ! As to most sensitive vitamins, such an Vitamin C and vitamin B1, they get broken down right above 102°C with soft-steaming, 100°C in boiling water and 120°C in an oven. Endobacteria, also known as mycorhizes (association of mycelium, fungus and good bacteria), resist up to 120°C.

Mind the time !

The time factor must also be part of your priorities. It is the reason why I insist on cooking vegetables al dente, eat meats rather rare and fish slightly rare on the bone. Lets make a comparison : if you have ever been into a Turkish bath, you observed that at 40°C it feels cold. You can raise its temperature up to 100°C without cooking in it ! You can simply not exceed half an hour of use, without suffering damage. It is the same with saunas, whose temperature can exceed 110°C without killing. However, if you take a really hot bath, you won’t be able to dip a single toe if the water is over. 42°C ! You would get burnt… as a matter of fact, water coast the food and first alters its surface, then depending on the cooking time, the whole food itself. Water is a solvant, for this reason I advise when making broths, to be careful that boiling water doesn’t exceed 100°C, critical threshold for the precipitation of mineral salts which then become digestible. A simmering broth makes thin bubbles whereas a 100°C boiling broth makes big bubbles. This is a good mnemonic way to visually recognize a liquid temperature.

Not over 95°C

The food temperature mustn’t exceed 95°C. With soft-steaming, it is impossible to go beyond this temperature as the food would be over-cooked and would have lost many nutritional elements. Following my advice, your food will never go through more than 95°C. Meat will be cooked at 60, 70 or 80°C depending on whether it is red or white, fish rarely exceed 70°C and cakes, 80°C. Unfortunately, in an oven, temperature often rises over 140°C, and if you let foods go brown, you create toxic compounds over 100°C. This is what is called Maillard’s reaction, that creates glycotoxins. So, even if you don’t have a Vitaliseur that allows soft-steaming while preventing condensation water to saturate foods, try to cook them as little time as possible using soft-steaming, avoid over-grilled meats, that are concentration of carcinogen substances, and avoid frying which, as we now know, are extremely harmful to health. You can dehydrate your fruits and vegetables at 40°C in specifically designed appliances. They’ll remain tasty and will keep all their nutritional advantages. The only problem remains the time it requires, from 5 to 24 hours, even longer, depending on the foods. It is thus not necessarily adapted to modern life. Remember that viruses are destroyed at 43°C and mycobacteria (thin toxic bacillus) at 60°C.

On-going analyses

I’ve extensively worked on energetic norms to design the Vitaliseur, the golden number and shape waves. Until now, I had no measuring tool other than radionics, Lecher antenna or sensitive crystallization to demonstrate the influence of geometries on food. Since then, I have discovered an electro-phonic lab, certified by the Department of Research, that should allow me to measure both the consistency and biocompatibility of food with the living when they are cooked with the Vitaliseur. First images are very promising. You’ll soon be able to discover them and as I hope so, they will bring new «  certainties  » as to the benefits of soft-steaming. 

Marion Kaplan


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