Ingredients (食材 Shokuzai) is generally what any potential food is referred to as, in the world of Toriko. These can be the whole or parts of an animal (e.g meat, bones), fruit or vegetable and even the by-products of such. In some cases, they are actually a part of nature as well, like a river or a rock, originating from an unknown source(s).
The Voice of Ingredients
Ingredients have displayed a unique and strange phenomena that is described as a "voice", which "calls" for certain people, as shown with Ichiryu's Full Course, and "guides" them into how to prepare the Ingredient in question, like Komatsu with the Shining Gourami and Mors Oil. People who possess the ability to hear the Voice of Ingredients (食材の声 Shokuzai no Koe) are shown to have an affinity towards Ingredients, chiefly skilled Chefs.
- Main article: Food Spirits
The source of this unique "voice" is the spiritual phenomena known as Food Spirits. Food Spirits, are the regretful souls of the deceased whose life essence lingers on in foods they could not taste in life, and special individuals are able to hear the call and whispers of these souls, who then share with them the secrets of how to prepare certain foods, so that the living may taste what they could not. These souls may have such a strong unified voice that the '"cry"' of a unique and special ingredient can be heard all around the world, as shown with the Million Seed.
Ingredients such as living plants or beasts while still alive may have certain "preferences" for those that eat them, as shown with the Ozone Herb, which seems to have chosen Komatsu over Toriko. In fact, both Setsuno and Komatsu, and many others, believe that rather than a Chef choosing the Ingredients, the Ingredients 'choose' the Chef.
Components are generally what Ingredients are called when they are being used as part of a dish, and not as the main focus. For example, when Toriko was gathering Ingredients like the Madam Fish, the King Vinegar, the Dodurian Bomb and the Eco Nori for his Ehou Maki, they were considered Components rather than Ingredients.
Though some Ingredients can be consumed raw, many require a certain amount of preparation before it can be consumed. These preparations can sometimes be something simple like standard grilling or boiling and such, while other Ingredients may require some extremely complicated technique(s). In certain circumstances, Ingredients which have extremely complicated preparation techniques can be simplified in order for chefs of lower skills to prepare them, this instance is first demonstrated during the attack of the Four Beast when Komatsu made it possible to prepare the Medicinal Mochi, a Specially Prepared Ingredient, as quickly as instant ramen in a method which even low-class Chefs were capable of using.
Specially Prepared Ingredients
Specially Prepared Ingredients (特殊調理食材 Tokushu Chōri Shokuzai) are Ingredients which are more difficult than normal to prepare, requiring some kind of special technique, skill, method or condition to cook it. An example would be the Puffer Whale, which requires one to remove the poison sac (the location of which differs from whale to whale) before consuming it.
Super Specially Prepared Ingredients
Super Specially Prepared Ingredients (超特殊調理食材 Chō Tokushu Chōri Shokuzai) are Ingredients that are at another level of difficulty above Specially Prepared Ingredients, and rather then just the cooking, it may require a specific way of eating them. Most of the Ingredients served at Disappearing Cuisine are Super Specially Prepared Ingredients. An example of such an Ingredient would be an AIR, an extremely sensitive massive fruit, that required Komatsu to cut meters deep into it by very carefully and precisely slicing thin pieces layer after layer, while a single millimeter off would make the fruit explode, aside from other measures that had to be taken for its preparation, like plugging the leaking air, holding its shape and perfectly timing its fall.
Then there are those like ANOTHER would be another good example, as it requires the chef to capture the fish (which can surpass the speed of light) and then prepare it for 600,000 years, PAIR, that has preparation method so well hidden that not even the Nitro, who lived for millions, if not billions of years, couldn't find it, or GOD, which requires the chef to go through, understand, comprehend and prepare every single taste GOD has ever recorded in its DNA.