Health check: is it safe to microwave your food?

nowadays every kitchen would seem “ under-equipped ” without a microwave, with its efficient ability to cook, defrost and reheat a diverseness of unlike foods. The handy appliance uses microwave radiation to do so. This is a type of electromagnetic radiation similar to radio waves and infrared idle .
Although broadly recognised as safe, the internet is afloat with articles about the dangers microwave radiation poses to your food. Some claim using microwaves can cause “ cataracts and cancer ”. other posts says it “ zaps the nutrients right out of your food ” .
If you believe this, the “ killer ” oven in your kitchen must be a terrify spy, but there is actually no research to support the presuppose dangers of microwave cook. Hopefully we can allay your fears by checking some common danger claims against the evidence .

Does it zap the nutrients out?

Putting naked foods through any type of work – including heat and cooling – leads to changes in their physical properties, chemical composition and nutritional visibility.

If nutrients are lost from foods cooked in microwaves, this would be because excessively high a temperature was used, or they were cooked for excessively retentive. The correct combination of time and temperature can help preserve most nutrients while besides improving the foods ’ smack, texture and color .
The clock and temperature required depends on the type of food. High risk foods such as kernel, fish and eggs need to be heated to at least 60℃ to be condom .


Microwave cook is improbable to negatively affect vitamins and early compounds associated with better health. For exemplify, rapid cooking actually helps preserve a group of beneficial chemicals, the polyphenols – that increase the sum antioxidant action of foods – in green vegetables .
One study compared microwave or steam vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and spinach, to pressure cooking. It found vegetables that were imperativeness cooked lost more insoluble fiber, which is commodity for gut health, than those that were microwaved or steamed .
A key alimentary normally destroyed when cooking vegetables is vitamin C, a severe miss of which can lead to conditions like scurvy. But boiling vegetables accounts for greater nutrient losses than microwaving them. This is because urine soluble nutrients are promptly leached into body of water when they are boiled, while very little water system is used in microwave .
brusque bursts of heating, such as used in microwave fudge, can retain most of a vegetable ’ s vitamin C .

Can it give you cancer?

Some of the best study cancer-causing compounds are the heterocyclic compound aromatic amines ( HCA ). These are formed naturally in protein-rich food such as kernel and pisces during cooking, and are more probably to form if the kernel is cooked for a long time and at higher temperatures .
The method of cook is a major factor affecting HCA constitution. Some researchers have reported HCA are formed in chicken at higher levels when cooked in a microwave, compared to when pan-fried, barbecued or baked .


But no research has claimed or shown an association between regular consumption of microwave-cooked poultry and cancer.

A late study has revealed barbecued pisces contains more HCA than microwave-cooked pisces, while HCA could not be detected at all in microwaved gripe. besides, thawing gripe and re-heating previously-cooked meat or fish in a microwave equitable for a few minutes, does not produce any extra HCA .

What about the packaging?

There is some evidence to suggest chemicals in fictile box can migrate into foods when microwaved, which has been associated with increase risk of cancer .


But most of today ’ s formative containers, packages and wraps are specially designed to withstand microwave temperatures .
If packaging is marketed as microwave safe, has a microwave symbol or provides instructions for proper microwave use, it is condom for microwave cooking or heating .
Leaching of harmful toxins or “ cancer-causing ” compounds from appropriately packaged products during microwave is highly unlikely in Australia, although this area could benefit from more research .

Does it kill bad bugs?

Cooking food significantly reduces the hazard of food-borne illness .
A major challenge in microwave is the unevenness of temperature distribution ascribable to the human body of the food. You may notice when you heat food in a microwave that there are often hot and coldness spots. This poses a electric potential condom topic .
Microwave cook can lone kill disease-causing bugs when the decline temperature and time combination is achieved throughout the food helping. Cooking to temperatures above 60℃ will kill most bugs known to cause food-borne illness, but the toxins produced by them may be heat-tolerant .
If the food is already contaminated with bugs that produce toxins, microwaving might kill the toxin-producing tease but not destroy the toxins, despite the correct temperature and time combination. This can besides apply to other cooking methods. Appropriate food storage is the key to minimising such risks .

Minimising risk

  • Avoid overcooking vegetables to minimise food losses
  • Before microwave, check the pronounce on the package and follow the instructions
  • If the software is not marked as being microwave-safe, switch to a desirable microwave container
  • Rotate and stimulate foods during cooking to spread the temperature of heating evenly and as such minimize potential for food-borne illness. Check the temperature of food before consumption
  • Remember microwave can not magically make contaminated food condom. so if in doubt, throw it out .