Frying Technology

Frying is a process of dehydrating food from the surface inward. The process typically uses triglyceride-based oil (lipid) from an animal or vegetable origin to transfer thermal energy from a heat source to food immersed in the oil. The efficiency of heat transfer is mediated by surfactant chemical species (wetting agents) included or formed in the oil that control the contact time between hydrophobic oils and aqueous foods. Heat capacity of the oil is primarily determined by the ratio of triglyceride to polymer formed in the oil.

A dynamic balance occurs between water movement from and oil movement into the frying food at a given temperature (typically 150-190°C) and food immersion time. The dynamic balance and the kinetics of the process are further mediated by the state of degradation of the oil as influenced by its exposure to primarily heat, oxygen, water, and chemicals and particles from the frying food. Fatty acid and smaller organic molecules formed in the oil generally increase thermal conductivity of the oil at the food surface.

Three surveys of frying topics covering chemical, physical, engineering, sensory, and nutritional aspects of frying oils and fried food are currently available (1-3).

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