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The soaking of food, such as meat, vegetables, or fish, in a flavored liquid for the purpose of flavoring and tenderizing foods before cooking. A proper marinade should contain an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or wine; an oil, such as olive or canola; and seasonings, such as herbs and spices. Citrus fruit juices may be substituted for the vinegar or wine to provide the acidic ingredient that is necessary to soften the fibers of the food. During the marinating process, the food is refrigerated in a covered container constructed of materials that will not react with the acidic ingredients. Ceramic, glass, or plastic containers are the best choices. Metal containers, such as aluminum, should not be used because the acidic ingredients of the marinade will react with the metal. After the food as been marinated, the marinade should be discarded and should never be reused for other purposes.

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