Title page for ETD etd-09212006-095936

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bengtson, Rhonda J
Author's Email Address rbengt1@vt.edu
URN etd-09212006-095936
Title The Effect of Novel Frying Methods on Quality of Breaded Fried Foods
Degree Master of Science
Department Biological Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mallikarjunan, Parameswarakumar Committee Chair
Cundiff, John S. Committee Member
Flick, George J. Jr. Committee Member
  • fish sticks
  • vacuum frying
  • pressure frying
  • compressed air
  • nitrogen gas
Date of Defense 2006-07-17
Availability unrestricted
Fried foods are popular around the world. They are also high in fat and considered unhealthy by many people. Reducing the fat content of fried food may allow for even more growth in their popularity, while allowing for healthier eating. Furthermore, vacuum-frying and frying with nitrogen gas have both been shown to extend the life of frying oil.

In this study, the use of novel frying methods as a way to reduce fat content of breaded fried foods was evaluated. A pressure fryer was modified so that fish sticks could be vacuum-fried and fried using external gas (nitrogen and compressed air) as the pressurizing media. These products were compared to those pressure fried and fried atmospherically in terms of crust color, moisture content, oil content, texture, and juiciness.

Overall, products fried using nitrogen and air were not found to be significantly different (p < 0.05) from each other. These products were both more tender and lower in oil content than steam-fried fish sticks. The energy to peak load of fish sticks fried with air was 123.10 J/kg, fish sticks fried with nitrogen had an energy to peak load of 134.64 J/kg, and fish sticks fried with traditional pressure frying had a peak load of 158.97 J/kg. The crust oil contents of fish sticks fried with air, nitrogen, and steam were 17.35%, 15.88%, and 23.31% oil by weight, respectively. In other words, using nitrogen or air to fry fish sticks reduced the fat uptake in the crust by 31.8% and 25.6% compared to traditional pressure frying, respectively.

The only area where vacuum-frying had a significant effect, when compared to pressure-fried and atmospherically-fried fish sticks, was in juiciness. Vacuum-frying created significantly juicier fish sticks than the other two frying methods. Vacuum-fried fish sticks had juiciness of 43.03% (120oC) and 41.31% (150oC), while pressure-fried fish sticks had juiciness of 30.01% (175oC) and 32.93% (190oC), and atmospherically-fried fish sticks had juiciness of 31.56% (175oC) and 29.38% (190oC). In addition, vacuum-fried fish sticks were more tender than atmospherically-fried fish sticks.

The results of this study demonstrated that frying with external pressurizing media can be used to reduce oil content in fish sticks, while also creating products that are more tender than conventionally pressure-fried fish sticks. In addition, vacuum-frying, which has been shown to extend oil life compared to pressure frying because of the lower temperatures involved, can be used to create fish sticks that are comparable to pressure-fried fish sticks, but juicier.

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