Energy saving cooking can save some money wasted on energy
Posted on August 10th, 2015

Dr Hector Perera       London

Some energy can be saved if it was efficiently used but some people have no patience. They need to hurry up, their hands are full and the minds are occupied with too many things to do at the same time. Have you not witnessed some of those British TV chefs run in the kitchen studio like headless chicken?  There are many acceptable reasons why one should not waste energy in cooking.

Have you witnessed some British TV cooking?

Sometimes there is a competition between two contestants to make omelettes. They pour the eggs and butter or oil on red hot pans and try to make omelette because faster they made wins the competition. Most foods have more than 60% water content. Most fruits have more than 80% water and even raw chicken have nearly 70% water. Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which is dissolved 10% proteins (including albumins, muco-proteins, and globulins). Unlike the yolk, which is high in lipids (fats), egg white contains almost no fat, and carbohydrate content is less than 1%. Egg whites contain just over 50% of the protein in the egg.

Only when cooked on moderately high temperature, the juices in foods such as in vegetables and meat come out slowly, ooze out then gradually react with the spices or margarine or butter etc. Many people just put fire at full blast and cook then likely to burn the whole thing because the liquid evaporates quickly. Sometimes I leave the food to cook at moderately high temperature then do some other work in the kitchen or else go to the computer or watch the TV for few minutes. This cannot be achieved unless you are experienced. I have demonstrated in a few different TV channels in Sri Lanka how to cook and save energy but so far none of these British TV channels didn’t give me a chance to show how to save energy in cooking. Keep on wasting energy and burn energy unnecessarily, that is they are burning money, what a waste?

The organic chemicals in spices

The spices have very low volatile organic chemicals, if anyone puts high fire, the spices and oil vapours escape quickly and some of it likely to deposit on the person who cooks. Try and smell any spice such as curry leaves or even cloves. One cannot smell the spice unless it is very closely sniffed. When you add these to curries and cook, the chemicals in them quickly escape then anyone can detect the smell in the kitchen. They have volatile chemicals and escape due to gain of kinetic energy from the fire. Once they lose the kinetic energy, those chemicals deposit anywhere, including on the person who cooks. When they walk about they might smell like a mobile kitchen, a Tandoori kitchen. Who would like to be smelled like that way?

 Scientific energy saving cooking

My method helps to cook food better, slowly, save electricity and gas, have time to do other things and you do not get curry smell or oil smell on the clothes and on the face and hair. I have witnessed some Sri Lankan ladies open the boiling curries such as chicken, beef and fish while cooking and keep on tasting the gravy not just once but several times. In these cases then they are likely to get a shower of curry and spicy smell on them. Those chemicals can get deposited on their faces, hands, hair and even on the clothes, especially the top part of the body.  I have witnessed their cooking a few times so I am aware of the mistakes they make.
Would these people understand that cooking involves lots and lots of chemistry, chemical reactions and science? To me all foods are nothing but chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen combined to form different chemicals. What chemical elements are in carbohydrates? Mainly it is nothing but carbon, hydrogen and oxygen combination then meat or fish is protein. Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids.

Elements in food

Fish, beef, chicken and even dry fish have proteins in them. Proteins again have carbon, hydrogen, oxygen then nitrogen and some phosphorus plus other chemicals in small proportions. To me cooking means a series of chemical reactions.  In the synthesis of organic chemicals some chemicals are reacted together then certain bonds break and new bonds are formed in the new compounds. Take a very simple day to day chemical reaction such as making pickle. You add vinegar, a little sugar, salt and warm with some vegetables such as green chillies, onions and carrots. Remember it’s warmed but not cooked then they are bottled or put in a large clay pot, sealed and left for few days. One cannot forget about the appetizing smell of pickle after a few days due to the formation of an ester called ethyl ethanoate.

Some British TV cooks come and hastily just add this and that without any chemical knowledge, hardly any qualitative and quantitative aspect. They put too much heat while cooking but those chefs don’t understand that foods are bad conductors so heat goes through them slowly. If they understood this simple principle, they would never tried to make omelettes in a competition. You need to put medium or low heat then only some juices ooze out of the food and other spices absorb in then there is an inter change of juices that ooze out from different ingredients. Some juices with plenty of different chemicals gets in while some get out. Cinnamon and cloves each has 18 different aromatic chemicals which are very sensitive to temperature. I am not going into the other chemicals in other spices or what’s in vegetables and meat because too many to mention over here. The spices and the cooking ingredients have complicated different chemicals. They react with the food in many different ways, some absorb some stay on the surface and we call it adsorp for both these terms we call it chemisorption.  I am sure some chemical bonds break while new ones are formed due to interactions. After a while that results a nice tasty dish.

Why boiling curries are constantly opened?

When a cooking pan with boiling chicken curry is opened, all the chemical vapours that are supposed to be reacted with the food or supposed to be reacted together escape then it is likely to get deposited on the face of that person who cooks. Our so called Sri Lankan ladies open these boiling chicken curries and get a shower of CHICKEN COLOGNE and SPICY COLOGNE then walk up and down as if they walk on CAT WALK but smelling like a MOBILE KITCHEN. Who would like that?

You must not open boiling curries, leave it to settle the steam carrying the chemical vapours then open if they wanted to mix it. I call them that have high entropy state when they are boiling, needs sometime to settle down. When these curries are boiling these ladies get a high temptation to open so they wait desperately with a long wooden handled spoon or with a polkatu handa” in hand to open, perhaps to get a shower of that traditional secret aroma beauty therapy, OK if not why they open them while they are piping hot? If they wanted to mix them, just give a few minutes to settle down then do it.

Some scientific explanation

In science we call the molecules have high entropy when it’s boiling and very hot. At that time molecules have higher molecular speeds due to gain of heat that means they have high kinetic energy. A microscopic interpretation of Gay-Lussac’s law is as the temperature of a gas is increased, the velocity of the molecules is also increased. More molecules hit the sides of the container, each with a greater impulse, so that the pressure increases. If the container has something like rice, cooking curries like chicken or vegetables then they hit on them as well with that speed. That is how they get cooked.

Speeds of molecules are faster than jumbo jets

The quantity urms is called the root-mean-square (rms) velocity because it is the square root of the mean square velocity. The rms velocity is directly proportional to the square root of temperature and inversely proportional to the square root of molar mass. Thus quadrupling the temperature of a given gas doubles the rms velocity of the molecules. Doubling this average velocity doubles the number of collisions between gas molecules and the walls of a container as well as with the contents in the vessel.  It also doubles the impulse of each collision. Thus the pressure quadruples. This can be indicated graphically but not shown here. Pressure is thus directly proportional to temperature, as required by Gay-Lussac’s law. When you open the lid of a boiling curry or even rice, the vapours escape, temperature is lost, pressure decreases. Perhaps it takes a longer time to cook and energy is wasted. This is just one way of losing energy while cooking.

Cooking and chemistry are interconnected

You may have thought you left physics and chemistry behind when you left school, but if you want to eat well, you need to understand that cooking is all about physics and chemistry, with a little magic mixed in.
What is cooking?

Cooking is the process of changing the chemistry of food usually by transferring energy in the form of heat to the food long enough so that it is safe and digestible, and achieves the desired flavor, texture, tenderness, juiciness, appearance, and nutrition. Honestly some British TV chefs, just toss in the air a few times a thick piece of beef on a hot cooking pan then shout, It’s cooked”. When it is cut what do you see, red, virtually blood dripping red meat. Their excuse was, medium cooked beef is tastier than properly cooked meat. Remember under cooked meats are loaded with germs and bacteria.  However, the trouble begins when certain bacteria and other harmful pathogens multiply and spread, which can happen when food is mishandled or not cooked or cooled properly. Foods that are contaminated may not look, taste or smell any different from foods that are safe to eat. Symptoms of food poisoning can vary and develop as quickly as thirty minutes to a few hours or take longer (up to several days) after eating food that’s been infected.

 There are five ways heat cooks food. 

Food gets hot when molecules vibrate so fast that their temperature rises. Heat is transferred to food by means of conduction, convection, radiation, excitation, and induction.

Energy saving need to be demonstrated, not just words

Whatever it is I will let the public know the technique of energy saving when I get a chance. I am able to save about 60% energy wasted in cooking certain things only but not baking and grill cooking. How many people in Sri Lanka, India, England, Europe, Australia and America eat pasta, rice, spaghetti then chicken curries and vegetable curries? If I am not mistaken many millions of people eat that kinds of food on daily basis. In that case I am able to show the people how to cook these things with 30% or 40% gas or electricity and save about 60% energy and time as well. How do I know because I practice the technique at home, that is I cook that way?

Who would like to know my technique?

May be a small amount gas and electricity is used for cooking in cold weather countries the rest is for heating the places where they live. If they eat nothing but junk food no gas or electricity are used for cooking so they are not worried about energy saving cooking. In countries like Sri Lanka and India no energy is used for heating houses but used gas and electricity mainly for cooking only. If anybody needs to know how to cut down energy wastage then please contact me. I have already demonstrated this to The Sustainable Energy Authority in Sri Lanka for their approval. Why not these so called energy saving experts in England do not come forward and inquire what I am talking about? If I was proved wrong, £50,000 will be paid. To deliver the message, how about running all the way to number 10 Downing Street or to the gate of Buckingham Palace just like Archimedeans. Your comments are welcomed [email protected]

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