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 in the series also somehow have a 'will' of sorts. Through currently unexplained phenomena, there have been Ingredients in the series that seem to have 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.
The Ingredients also seem to have 'preferences' for those that eat it, 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 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 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 Tree.