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Panasonic Commercial Microwaves: Did you know?

I met with Chef Ken Megarr of Panasonic the other day. I wanted to learn about what’s new with Panasonic Commercial Microwave Ovens and maybe grab a recipe for the NFL opening game. As always, Chef Ken was eager to oblige, but seized the opportunity to turn our conversation into a training moment. “An educated customer is my best customer,” Chef Ken said.

“Did you know,” said Chef Ken, “that in 2008, the Cornell University Masters in Nutrition Program did a study comparing the nutritional value of foods that were baked, boiled, steamed, and microwaved?” Chef Ken explained that they used the Panasonic Pro One Series microwave oven for that study. For every food that was tested, when cooked to the same degree of doneness, the microwaved food came out with higher concentrations of water-soluble nutrients than any other cooking method.

This bit of information surprised me. Could microwave cooking be more nutritious than steaming? “That’s what the study showed,” said Chef Ken.

As it turns out, the enemy of nutrients are water, temperature, and time. Microwave cooking, by design, involves the least of these three elements. Leaching occurs in boiling water, and to a lesser degree in steam cooking. It is minimal to absent in microwave cooking. And although microwave ovens can generate high heat within foods, the cooking time is generally less then with other cooking methods. The result is more nutrition and more quality in the final cooked product.

Chef Ken sent me some data from the Cornell study. For test results showing the relative loss of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) from broccoli, when cooked various ways, see below. As for my recipe, Chef Ken and I got so involved talking about microwave cooking benefits that I forgot to get one. So when I sat down to watch the NFL season opening game that night, I followed the same directions I always do: “remove tray from box, peel back cover to vent, cook on high for 5.5 minutes, let stand one minute before eating.” Ahhhh. Now I know. Fast, easy, and nutritious.

Be sure and check out all the Panasonic Microwave Ovens, Sonic Steamers, and Rice cookers here.