Greggs are currently the largest bakery chain in the UK. They specialise in savoury products such as pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches and sweet items including doughnuts and vanilla slices. The company has grown steadily over the years, and now has over 1,600 outlets, with many town and city centres having more than one store.
Given Greggs’ expertise in all areas of baking, it is vital to ensure they are not only using the best standard of equipment to produce their food, but also that they use top quality oil to cook with. Their latest acquisition of a testo 270 cooking oil tester will help them to optimise oil consumption.
We talked to Baking expert Colin Berry, of Greggs North West, based in Manchester, who recently bought a testo 270 to test their oil when frying donuts. “We recently purchased a testo 270 cooking oil tester and are very impressed with the equipment” said Berry, “It’s easy to use and calibrate and very easy to read the display, leaving no room for errors.”
Colin Berry shows a colleague how simple the 270 is to use
How cooking oil testing works
Testo’s 270 allows you to determine within seconds whether cooking oil needs changing. To do so, it measures the ‘Total Polar Material’ (TPM) content in the oil, which is a sure indicator of its quality. It will then provide you with a reading and based on the colour of the screen display you will know the current state of the oil.
Berry went on to say of the 270 “It has enabled us to maintain the quality of our products and monitor the state of our oil, previously we planned a clean every fourth week, but the 270 showed us that the oil was beyond the range acceptable and it needed changing sooner than we thought” said Berry “This has helped us with problems we had with fat uptake and colour variations in the frying process.”
“It has enabled us to maintain the quality of our products and monitor the state of our oil”
There are a number of risks associated with a company using cooking oil that is past its best. A recent Testo study looked at the Frying Oil Quality Curve, which explains each step of the process.
As the oil begins to get older, the fried food becomes darker and could feature spotty surfaces. In addition, the fried shell is less crisp and the food absorbs much more oil than usual. This can leave a bitter, unpleasant taste and is also unhealthy because of a higher content of saturated fats.
As the cooking oil continues to deteriorate the fried product will start to become hard, oily and the food inside might not even cook properly. This can then cause problems from a food safety point of view. It can also produce a burnt flavour and give off a pungent smell. Essentially, the more times cooking oil is used and the longer it’s left, the poorer the quality it will be and the lower the standard of the fried product.
We have also seen a number of cases where restaurants were changing oil far too frequently, and therefore wasting perfectly good oil. Extensive practical tests have proved that regular measurement with the Testo 270 reduces the overall consumption of cooking oil by up to 20%. Therefore it’s not just productivity that will be improved with a Testo 270, but in some cases costs can be significantly reduced.
Berry concluded by saying “Overall I would recommend the testo 270 as an outstanding aid to maintaining the quality of oil needed for a high quality fried product.”
The testo 270 has since been nominated for the upcoming Product Excellence Awards
Greggs bakeries pride themselves on the quality of their produce and on the Greggs official website say “Quality is a priority and the people with the friendly faces you see behind the counter at Greggs, expertly make our tasty sandwiches in store every day.” Regular oil testing should help them maintain the top quality food that we have all come to know and love about Greggs stores nationwide.
Testo offer a wide range of equipment for food safety which will help you meet your HACCP requirements and give you the reassurance you are storing and cooking your food safely. Our instruments include temperature monitoring systems, data loggers, thermometers, cooking oil testers, PH meters and much more.
Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, from farm to fork, Testo has the right instrument for the job. Want to find out more about testo food safety equipment? Why not visit our food safety page www.testolimited.com/food-safety or give us a call on 01420 544433