Deep frying food is a widely used a medium of cooking. Either at home or at professional kitchens worldwide.
However, health professionals and environmentalists, who are concerned with obesity, cancers and the environment, scrutinise deep frying because of the use of particular pieces of “un-green” kitchen equipment and excessive use of fat. But did you know that, with the help of recent technology in kitchen equipment, we can now make fried foods healthier that ever?
How To Make Deep Fried Foods Healthier
There are a number of basic operational procedures that will help to make fried food healthier and increase the life of cooking oil.
Using Oil Care Management System
A rigid oil care management system should be in place which involves at the very least regular filtering of the deep fryer to remove food debris and carcinogenic properties from the oil. Though regular filtering of the oil will not reduce the amount of oil that is absorbed by fried food and filter papers are an additional ongoing consumable cost, it lengthens the life of cooking oil and it will also reduce the unwanted particles that stick to the fried food during the cooking process, by virtue of these particles being of a lower volume in the oil.
How About Frying Powders?
Adding frying powders to cooking oil during the filtering process is known to have benefits in reducing the excess food debris from the oil, however, this becomes a weekly ongoing consumable cost and although these chemical fry powders are deemed to be safe for human consumption, little is really known about the long term effects on human health.
Should We Use Optimum Cooking Temperatures?
Making sure that cooking temperatures are at their optimum will create a better food product and it will also help keep the oil in a better condition. Most deep fryers in the market today will consume a lot of energy in heating and maintaining the heat in the oil in addition to having to use high temperatures for cooking thoroughly and creating a crispy food texture. The Green Guides for Restaurant and Hotel Kitchens will help you make green decisions in the kitchen.
Which Cooking Oil To Use?
Choice of cooking oils is a key factor as the higher the quality of your cooking oil, they normally will produce a higher quality and healthier food product although regardless of which type of oil is used, the industry standard frying operation will still allow unnecessary surplus oil to attach itself to your fried food. Check out this list of healthy cooking oils that you can use.
Frying equipment is essential, too many times we have seen around the world, professional kitchens using a deep fryer which is more than 7 years old. The deep fryer is a tool which should be replaced every 5 years or so, this way temperature calibration, energy consumption and cooking efficiency are at an optimum. If you need to replace your deep frying equipment, make sure you choose the best equipment for your restaurant.
Frying Oil Extender
EcoFriendly Chef Corp, a Canadian company is revolutionizing the deep frying industry with its frying oil extender called ‘OiLChef’. It is a proprietary technology that is encased in a perforated stainless steel case, which is placed in the cooking oil at the bottom of a deep fryer. This product transforms deep fryers into eco-friendly, high efficiency cooking machine!
Environmental Impact Of Using a Frying Oil Extender
The safe, usable life time of cooking oil depends on the food being cooked and the temperature used. There is a significant impact on the environment when we’re using a frying oil extender in deep frying. This can reduce the cooking temperature, reduce your carbon footprint and lengthen the life of your frying oil. Using less oil will:
- Reduce reliance on plantation-grown palm trees.
- Reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
- Causes less damage to the environment because of disposal of old oil and oil wastes
- Reduce energy consumption when maintaining heat
- Make the cooking oil last longer and tastes better.
Effect On Food
A frying oil extender in your fryer will
- Slow down oxidation in cooking, which keeps the oil healthy for a longer period of time.
- Stop the thickening of cooking oil called Polymerization. This is responsible for giving off smoke and smells in your kitchen.
- Reduce the amount of cooking oil or cooking fat that is absorbed by the food.
- Make the food less prone to carcinogenic particles. The thicker the oil is, the more it attaches itself to the food being cooked thus it makes the food prone to carcinogenic particles floating in the oil. This is usually from the food debris of fried foods being cooked.
Consumers Can Rate Fried Foods
For a consumer, purchasing french fries, taco shells, battered fish, calamari, tempura, breaded and seasoned chicken, should steer away from restaurants, gastro pubs and food takeaways that regularly serve oily and dark coloured food. The tell tale signs of unhealthy and poor quality fried food are through, sight, taste and feel.
Sight: Fried food with or without batter should be light golden in colour – not brown or dark brown. The darker the food the unhealthier it is. The oil is clearly not in good condition and the food is being over cooked. Many reasons the food is over cooked is because most chefs/cooks have a habit of “sight cooking”.
This simply means determining the cook time by the colour of the food. This is done all over the world. The main reason Chefs/cooks deep or shallow fry food until it is brown or dark brown is because using traditional deep frying technology – i.e. a regular deep fryer with a high cooking temperature – this is what achieves a crispy texture to the food product. In fact, what is happening is that the food is being overcooked, the outside of the food is being slightly burnt and this allows more oil to absorb inside the food.
Taste: The food should taste crispy and taste of the food you are buying and not of the oil it is being cooked in.
Feel: Most deep fried foods can be eaten by hand and this is a fun part of eating from takeaways etc. Simply by gently squeezing the food item between your fingers will show you how oily the food product is…
Give your restaurant a competitive advantage by serving healthier fried foods through an OiLChef frying oil extender. This makes a good solution to make your business more eco-friendly, healthier and sustainable.
Reducing carbon footprint and promoting sustainability is as important as putting your customers first. Reduce cost, increase profit and reduce oil waste by using OilChef. It’s a win-win for both your business, the environment and the customer.
Alsco provides sustainable solutions to keep your organisation healthier, cleaner and safer through a wide variety of cost and resource efficient rental services. Prevent moisture, dust and other particle matter from entering your workplace with Alsco’s dust control mats. With a rental lay-and-lift program, save on cleaning and replacement hassles. Contact our friendly Customer Service 1300 659 892 to know more about these hassle-free services.
Alsco would like to thank EcoFriendly Chef Corp for this article. EcoFriendly Chef Corp is currently in negotiations to appoint an exclusive importer/distributor for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Until these negotiations have been concluded, readers may contact us direct by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/oilchefdotcom