Frying Shortenings

Frying fats must maintain stability under abusive conditions that include high temperature, extractable materials from the fried food, and oxygen from the air. Stability of fried products (snack foods) is also important. The shortening imparts textural and flavor effects to the fried food. The key is the type of oil used and its chemical and physical properties. There are now new varieties of common vegetable oils with modified fatty acid compositions through breeding and genetic modification to expand the variety of properties available.

Frying shortenings are available as meat fats, meat fat-vegetable blends, and solid or liquid vegetable shortenings. Meat fat and solid vegetable products provide excellent stability, particularly under abusive conditions. But these products have poor nutritional attributes (cholesterol in meat fat, saturated fat, and trans fatty acids). Pourable, vegetable, liquid shortenings offer convenient handling with good frying stability. There is some compromise on oxidative stability, but fry stability is acceptable for most applications. Liquid products have lower saturated and trans fatty acid levels than solid products.

Fry life is a function of the chemical and physical characteristics of the frying shortening. These depend on the source oil(s) and processing. Fry life is also a function of many operational factors such as the type and amount of food fried, the size of the fryers, the time and temperature of frying, frequency of filtration, and cleaning procedures. Analytical characteristics vary with the product (Table 5).

Table 5. Typical Fly Shortening Analysis

Solid Liquid

Table 5. Typical Fly Shortening Analysis

Solid Liquid

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