The effect of microwaves on nutrient value of foods

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1982;16(4):355-81. doi: 10.1080/10408398209527340.


Microwave cooking has gained considerable importance as an energy-saving, convenient, and time-saving cooking method. This article reviews the state of the art of microwave cooking and the existing publishing data on the effects of microwave cooking on nutritive values of moisture, protein, carbohydrate, lipid, minerals, and vitamins. Most reports indicated that microwave cooking resulted in higher moisture losses compared with conventional methods. Overall, the nutritional effects of microwaves on protein, lipid, and minerals appear minimal. There is no report on the effects of microwaves on carbohydrate fraction in foods. A large amount of data is available on the effects of microwaves on vitamins. It is concluded that there are only slight differences between microwave and conventional cooking on vitamin retention in foods. In conclusion, no significant nutritional differences exist between foods prepared by conventional and microwave methods. Any differences reported in the literature are minimal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cooking / economics
  • Cooking / standards*
  • Food / standards*
  • Food Irradiation / adverse effects*
  • Food Irradiation / economics
  • Fruit / standards
  • Hot Temperature
  • Meat / standards
  • Microwaves*
  • Nutritive Value / radiation effects
  • Sheep
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Vegetables / standards
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins