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Niacin or Nicotinic Acid is an important member of the vitamin B complex without being a vitamin B. Deficiency in niacin cause pellagra, but the risk of this is small for those with a balanced diet.

Good sources of niacin include: beans, beer, cheese, coffee, eggs, kidneys, milk, mushrooms, sardines and other oily fish, peanuts. But best of all are: meat and yeast extracts and wheat bran. However, because niacin is found in bran, it is absent from white flour and must be added back to "enrich" white flour.

Niacin is not affected by the heat from cooking, but is soluble in water and so 40% can be lost when vegetables are boiled in a lot of water, hence steaming is best. or use the excess water for gravies or stocks.

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Further Reading

  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.