Ok, let's turn the science thing off. The reason people do not know the overall effects of MW vs CTH (microwave versus convectional thermal heating)
is basically," it's not going to show up on the packaging", or you confusing heating .vs. radiating something, and figured that since the food got
hot, therein lies the solution.
Now, dammit, I said I was going to turn the science off, and look what happened already!
Anyway, those of us past the 10th grade, know that heat is produced in food by applying external heat. The food warms by exposure to thermal
convection between the heating element, the pan, and the food. Very simple, and no rules broken.
Ok, now lets go with heating food using microwave energy. Hot, certainly. Consistency: well, the tendancy to rubberize, but not the target of this
discussion. Long story short, microwave radiation stimulates the molecules in food by energizing them, with the by-product being heat, but if you want
to include taste as a similar by-product produced by convectional heating, that is not on the menu.
Again, we have to maintain the science filter, because it confuses some people... so bear with me. (and I am not belittling people that do not dig
core science, just trying to maintain a cognitive baseline.)
Yes, Taste is the key.
The tongue and nose define what taste is.
Some of the most sensitive organs in the human body are taste buds on the tongue, and smell sensors in the nose.
The tongue is involved in detecting the five (known) elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami.
The nose uses olfactory sensors neurons and are made up of at least six morphologically and biochemically different cell types. The combinations of
the stimulus in these cells, produce a unique sensation we call smell. (There we went too far again with science, but some things have to be made
As said before, taste, as perceived, is the combination of these 2 basic senses. Try holding your nose and eating something you like, just to make the
Now, lets get back to the original premise. Both the sensors on the tongue and nose combine in your brain to produce taste. The levels of molecular
stimulation are very different in the two methods of heating food. The receptors in our tongue and nose are really sensitive to molecular
stimulation, so food tastes different when heated by each different method.
Sounds simple, and it is not, but you must agree that a simple dish reheated in a pan tastes better (or different, from that perspective) than if you
nuked it in the microwave.
So there. A statement that justifies why MW food, is not the same as CTH food. I hope it makes sense.
Sources are in order:
The Nose (olfaction)
Thanks, and hoping not to be a master of the obvious, but for some reason people do not get the difference.