Wait – there are soaps in frying oil?
First off, yes. Soaps can be found in frying oil, and can seriously impact your oil health and food product. But do not fear – we have some answers below!
How are soaps treated now in restaurants?
The majority of foodservice or restaurant operations do not monitor oil quality. Even fewer operators even consider or understand soaps. (Hopefully this blog post can turn that around!) But activating a monitoring process for frying oil is vital – as soaps can cause extensive damage to frying oils at very low levels,
For the restaurants that do check oil quality, they generally use dip sticks to measure free fatty acids or a meter to monitor total polar materials.
How are soaps measured?
Free fatty acids and polar materials are measured in percent levels whereas soaps are measured in parts per million. So, as low a level as 0.01% can significantly affect your frying oil. This level of soaps can both adversely affect the quality of the foods being fried and seriously impact the fry life of your oil.
But where do soaps come from and how do they get into frying oil?
The most common cause of soap formation is due to foods, especially batter and breaded foods. In frying oils, soaps will form through the reaction of free fatty acids and metals (calcium, sodium, magnesium) in the presence of water. ‘
A second source of metals comes from cleaning operations (residual caustic), which can also result in the formation of soaps.
Let’s see the science behind soaps…
Soaps are surfactants and will be absorbed onto frying food. And, soap is a detergent which acts as a surfactant. Presence of soap contributes to rapid rise in FFA in the oil during frying and will serve as a catalyst, which causes more rapid oxidation of the oil.
RCOOH + NaOH –► RCOONa + HOH
Fatty Acid + Alkali –► Soap + Water
Note: Alkali could be Sodium (Na+), Potassium (K+), Calcium Ca++), or Magnesium (Mg++)
How should soaps be treated?
It starts with monitoring the frying oil on a daily basis, to gauge if soaps have formed and cleaning is required. If soaps are detected, labor will be needed to remove and clean the fryer. When cleaning a fryer, it is imperative that the cleaning compounds be completely removed from the fryer.
Failure to properly rinse a fryer using clean water and acids to remove caustic cleaners can result in immediate damage to the oil. The metals and any water remaining in the oil will result in immediate formation of soaps, which has at times literally killed the oil. Needless to say, this has a serious negative effect on product integrity and consistency.
How do Filtercorp’s Supersorb® CarbonPads help?
One major benefit of using our Supersorb pads in your oil management program is that they have been shown to remove metals, water and soaps from your frying oil. This ensures that your restaurant uses less oil and less labor – while producing a superior product everyday. So, if you want to enhance oil life and deliver high-quality food, look to Filtercorp’s Supersorb products (just look at the difference below!).
The graph below details the results of the Oil Analysis Test performed by MG Edible Oil.
Here are the main results:
- Soap PPM and FFA%(Free Fatty Acids) when using the Carbon Pad is almost half the values compared to filtration using paper.
- The data indicates that in the 24 hour operating store test that 3 to 4 extra days of oil life can be achieved when filtering with the Carbon Pad using a FFA value maximum