The Jakarta Post
This picture shows a rendang dish made at a Padang restaurant in Jakarta on April 3, 2018. The dark color in rendang is from the beef's reaction to the heat. (AFP/Adek Berry)
The long cooking process of rendang, which usually takes hours, often raises questions about its impact on our health.
A study conducted by Fauzan Azima, a professor from Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatra, has shown that the nutrients in rendang are not lost in the lengthy cooking process.
“Rendang is always cooked for hours until its color turns into a brownish-black. People often question [rendang’s] nutrients and whether [the long cooking process] affects our health,” Fauzan told Antara news agency. “But it doesn’t lose [its nutrients].”
After researching samples of rendang from regions across West Sumatra, Fauzan found that rendang’s dark color comes from the beef’s reaction to the heat.
In the first 30 minutes of cooking or when the beef turns into gulai (curry soup), there is an increase in protein content from 87.58 to 91.51 percent. In the next process, where it turns into kalio (lighter version of rendang), the percentage declines to 90.31 percent. When it becomes wet or dry (black-ish rendang), the protein content further declines to 88.59 and 86.39 percent, respectively.
“It shows that the protein content in rendang [when cooked] decreases 1 percent compared to when the beef is still raw, meaning that the long cooking process doesn’t damage the nutrients,” Fauzan said.
Furthermore, Fauzan also found that the trans fatty acid level is at zero percent during cooking. The denaturation of protein occurs when rendang is cooked above 80 degrees Celsius to transform protein into digestible form.
Once dubbed as the most delicious food in a 2017 CNN poll, rendang will last longer if kept in sealed aluminum foil compared to glass containers and plastic. (wir/wng)