As the world's demand for fried food continues to expand, there has been a huge increase in manufacturers, restaurants, and cafes producing such foods.
From chips and fried chicken to ice-cream and donuts, there is simply no limit to what can be tossed into deep fryer and served up to the public. The demand has never been higher.
There are however some issues with this, particularly around the education of frying, ensuring the products created are of the highest standard and that food safety is always considered. With this in mind, it is important to understand cooking oil quality and what devices are available on the market to measure it.
Cooking oil quality – what affects this?
Cooking oil, like most things, ages as a result of many factors. With relation to deep frying, these can include what food was fried, the heat at which the oil was heated and the amount of times it was used. In scientific terms, this is referred to as thermal oxidative modification. The quality of cooking oil can also decrease due to time spent at room temperature, causing an oxidation reaction between the air and the oil.
With cooking oil becoming an important tool for many industries, scientists had to come up with a way to measure quality. Research revealed that the most effective way to see how used or old cooking oil is was to test the Total Polar Materials (TPM). In essence, a high level of polar components illustrates that the cooking oil is of low quality and has been used frequently.
The Dangers of using old, used cooking 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 due to a higher content of saturated fats.
There is also another stage of the degradation of cooking oil. The product produced is 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.
The Testo 270
In recent years, technology has significantly improved in the world of cooking oil quality. Gone is the need for complex column chromatography or laborious lab tests.
Businesses can now enjoy an electronic hand-held instrument for daily use in any environment. The Testo 270 cooking oil tester is a compact, handheld device which tests the TPM through a sensor that can be placed in hot oil.
Simply by lowering the metal probe shaft into the oil, you’ll get a reading of how much oil has been used up and the overall quality. The sensor is sturdy and can be easily cleaned, ready for use again in a matter of seconds – handy for businesses running multiple deep fryers.
The Testo 270 features both an audible and optical alarm to alert users that a pre-determined figure has been exceeded. This ensures standards are maintained across all fryers.
Users also get the benefit of a transparent plastic cover called TopSafe. This protects the device from both impact and dirt whilst also guaranteeing optimum hygienic conditions.
Reduce costs as well as improving quality of produce
Extensive practical tests by Testo engineers have demonstrated that regular measurement with the Testo 270 reduces the consumption of cooking oil by up to 20%. Therefore it's not just productivity that will be improved with a Testo 270, but also costs can be significantly reduced. Figure out just how much you can save with our Testo 270 Cost Saving Calculator.
With the Testo 270 it couldn't be easier to keep on top of the quality of your cooking oil
For more information on the Testo 270 Cooking Oil Tester please visit: http://www.testolimited.com/testo-270-cooking-oil-tester