Sous vide makes beef protein more digestible

Sous vide

Once used to prepare cuisine in only the finest restaurants, sous vide is presently finding its way into home chefs’ kitchens. French for “under vacuum,” the method involves vacuum cleaning food in a plastic pouch and slowly cooking it in warm water. Currently, researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have discovered that, compared with boiling or roasting, sous vide increases beef protein digestibility during simulated digestion.

The heat of cooking causes meat proteins to undergo various changes, such as in their arrangement, oxidation and aggregation, which might affect how readily the proteins are broken down by digestion into small peptides or amino acids which can be absorbed into the blood vessels. The relatively low warmth of sous vide — typically approximately 140 F — and also the low-oxygen conditions can create a tender, juicy, evenly cooked steak. Wangang Zhang and colleagues wondered if the culinary technique could also raise beef protein digestibility compared with boiling (cooking in water at 212 F) or roasting (cooking in an oven above 300 F). Beef that’s more readable could be more nutritious and less likely to cause gastrointestinal issues.

The researchers studied the impacts of the different cooking methods on changes in beef protein oxidation and structure, which are known to influence digestibility. In meat that was cooked, they analyzed two markers of protein oxidation, discovering that roasted meat was the most highly oxidized, followed by boiled meat and subsequently the sous vide beef. Sous vide also caused less protein aggregation and fewer changes in the proteins’ structures than the other cooking methods. After the team put the cooked beef in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids, the meat cooked by sous vide released a greater quantity and variety of peptides than beef cooked with the other methods, indicating increased digestibility. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of peptides from meat cooked with different methods on the gut microbiome and human health, the investigators say.


Categories: Cooking Eat Health