A comparison of the nutritional quality of ready-to-cook meals and conventional home-cooked meals in Korea

Eunji Choi, Sung Won Yoon, Jung Ah Shin, In Hwan Kim, Jeehye Sung, Jang Hyuk Ahn, Hyun Jeong Kim, Dong Won Seo, Sam Pin Lee, Jo Won Lee, Bo Kyung Moon, Sojung Kim, Keum Il Jang, Byung Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, the nutritional contents of ready-to-cook (RTC) meals distributed in Korea were compared to those of conventional home-cooked meals to evaluate the nutritional quality of RTC meals. A total of 42 samples of RTC meals were collected in 2021 and prepared according to the recipes provided in the meal packages. They were categorized into five groups and 23 types, which included four types of soup, six types of stew, four types of hot pot, four types of noodles, and five types of braised dishes. A total of 23 samples of home-cooked meals corresponding to individual types of RTC meals were prepared using recipes from the Korean food composition database. Both RTC and home-cooked meals shared similarities in the types and quantities of individual ingredients (grains, vegetables, meats/fishes, and sauces). No distinct differences were observed in the contents of energy, proximate components, total saturated fatty acids, total trans fatty acids, and Na between both meals. RTC meals exhibited a significantly higher total sugar content within the groups of stew and noodles and tended to show increased total sugar content within the groups of soup and hot pot when compared to that of home-cooked meals. When compared to the recommended World Health Organization daily intake, the Na content per serving in both home-cooked and RTC meals tended to be greater (17.1–167.3% of the daily intake value) than those of total saturated fatty acids, total trans fatty acids, and total sugars (0.8–49.7%, 0–20.0%, and 0–54.7%, respectively).

Original languageEnglish
Article number100876
JournalInternational Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Volume35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Fat
  • Home-cooked meals
  • Na
  • Nutritional quality
  • Ready-to-cook meals
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Cultural Studies

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