Combating The Enemies of Frying Oil

Combating The Enemies of Frying Oil

Deep-fat frying is one of the most progressive food processing systems that has been introduced to the foodservice industry. Foodservice operators are constantly learning about their foods dropped into hot oil, exposing the cooking oil to not only the food and its components, but also water, air (oxygen), high temperatures and contaminants such as metals from food or materials that remain from poor cleaning or maintenance. The enemies of frying can be prevented. Let’s take a deeper dive into these frying enemies and how you can prevent them in your foodservice operation. 

Standard Deep Frying Qualities

Standard frying qualities are designed to maintain oil quality, ensure the production of more consistent food quality and have control over what some have called the “enemies of frying oil.” The enemies are known as:

  • Heat which drives thermal degradation reactions
  • Water which causes hydrolysis of the oil
  • Air (oxygen) and light which can contribute to oxidation 
  • Contaminants from various sources that also contribute to oxidation

Basic Principles for Quality Frying

These six principles are known as:

  • Design, construction & maintenance of equipment
  • Proper operation of equipment
  • Properly clean equipment
  • Minimize exposure to UV
  • Keep salt & metals away from oil
  • Filter regularly

All frying operators need to develop, document, implement and maintain detailed operating procedures which incorporate the aforementioned quality principles. This will not only ensure that they produce consistent fried food, but these guidelines will protect their business and brand.

What Not To Do With Frying Oil

Thermal degradation is best controlled by frying foods at the lowest possible temperatures needed to produce quality end products. By-products of thermal degradation include the formation of thermal polymers and a rise in total polar materials (TPM). One thing an operator should never do is turn up the temperature on a fryer as a means of troubleshooting. You will only make a bad situation worse. 

Water, Soaps, Light, and Oxygen in Frying Oil

Most of the water in fried foods goes up the vents as steam carrying with its volatile compounds from the food and the oil. It may be hard to believe, but frying oils can contain 2% or more of entrained water. Most of the water is bound up in alkaline soaps, a compound that forms in frying oil when free fatty acids react with metals in the oil in the presence of water. Soaps are nasty precursors to a wide range of break down products. 

There are many different surfactant compounds that form in oils. These include mono- and diglycerides and other materials including alkaline soaps. The development of surfactants is essential when it comes to ensuring proper frying, but soaps are bad actors. Small amounts of soap in the low parts per million can break down cooking oil, reduce its useable life, and result in the formation of secondary degradation products that compromise food flavor, aroma, and its overall life.

Light and oxygen also contribute to oxidation of the oil. One cannot keep from exposing oil to air but light issues can be addressed. Avoid fluorescent lights if possible. Ultraviolet will damage fats and oils. 

Contaminants can come from a wide range of sources including foods being fried, the application of seasonings to fried foods, poor cleaning practices which may leave soaps or detergents in the fryer or poor maintenance practices. Never make repairs with copper or bronze fittings.

How Do Filtercorp’s SuperSorb® CarbonPads Help?

Note that one of the basic principles of quality frying is filter regularly. Filtercorp’s SuperSorb® CarbonPads are the perfect answer to filter regularly. They remove water from the oil and remove contaminants such as metals, alkaline soaps, and of course, food particles. Therefore, SuperSorb® CarbonPads combat two of the four enemies of frying oil by themselves. The SuperSorb® CarbonPads product has also been shown to slow the rate of formation of a wide range of oil degradation products such as polar materials and polymeric triglycerides. 

Look to Filtercorp’s SuperSorb® CarbonPads to not only combat the different enemies of oil, but to ensure that you end up with good quality foods that your customers will keep coming back to eat. 

At Filtercorp, we operate on the premise that we are a solution provider for our customer’s oil filtration needs. Your long-term satisfaction is our goal. You’ll have the results to prove it: cleaner oil, longer lasting, less usage, greater savings – plus consistent quality food. The proof is in the profits and the taste. At Filtercorp, “filtration is what we do, and people are why we do it.

Contact Filtercorp today to learn more about our SuperSorb® carbon filterpads today or visit our website at


By | 2019-07-29T18:36:20+00:00 July 29th, 2019|Categories: Fry Oil Tips|Comments Off on Combating The Enemies of Frying Oil

About the Author: