Mr. Kazumasa Hirayama, a representative from the Cooking Technology Research Society, claims that washing wilted produce in 50℃ water (122°F) will restore its freshness.  Could it be true?

This magical method is now all the rave in food preparation circles.  The technique was contrived by Mr. Hirayama, who began spreading the word making it a recent hot topic among restaurateurs   According to Mr. Hirayama, its use is not only limited  to fruit and vegetable produce, but also works with a number of other food products as well and can even make food taste better.

Sound too good to be true?  Yahoo Japan asked Cafe Restaurant Dellis, where this method is actually put into practice, to find out its effect.

A spokesperson maintained that washing food in 50°C water does make a difference.  “Vegetables gain vitality and lose some of their bitterness.  With high protein foods like meat and fish, oxidized oils are washed away giving them a higher quality.”

50°C is the ceiling of temperature before the cell membranes of the produce begins to break.  For green leafy vegetables, this temperature is perfect for inducing what is called the heat shock phenomenon, where the pores of the cell membrane open, letting in the water, re-hydrating the leaves, and making them fresher.  Fruit washed in 50°C water will ripen and become sweeter within 2 or 3 days of refrigeration.

Produce washed in 50°C water will not only taste better but will also cause cell rejuvenation, allowing for it to last longer.  It is also an effective method to clean away any dirt or insects.

All it takes is a bowl of water heated to 48 -50°C.  Simply place the food into the bowl and wash it.  The washing time varies among produce.  It is good to wash leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach separately, one leaf at a time.  Root vegetables should be washed by rubbing them gently with your hands in the water for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Meat, fish and seafood can be washed by letting it sit in the water for 2 to 3 minutes washing off any excess grime with your hands.

It is good to keep in mind that if the water temperature is allowed to fall below 43°C, it becomes a prime breeding ground for bacteria.  Therefore it is recommended to change the water regularly, or keep adding 50°C water to hold it at a constant temperature.

50°C is also an ideal temperature for thawing frozen goods.  There is little run off of nutrients and the flavor stays in tact.

The results of this  method of washing food produce are quite amazing; incredible, if you think about it.  Why not find an item in your refrigerator that could do with some rejuvenation and give it a try?

Source: Fushigi