If an industrial processor or foodservice/restaurant operator wishes to adopt a filtration system of any sort or make changes to what they are currently doing, they should conduct the necessary frying studies. These studies will not only allow them to gather baseline data on what they are currently doing but will provide them with information to properly evaluate the benefits, if any, of the new system. How to conduct frying studies and why these studies are so important was addressed in the last issue of Food Quality & Safety magazine in Part 2 of this series. As part of the decision process, a fryer operator should:
- Understand the chemistry of their oil;
- Understand what impurities they wish to remove from the oil;
- Understand the basic steps for treatment required in a given operation;
- Understand the limitations of the treatments being reviewed; and
- Understand their operations so that the benefits of the post-treatment will produce good results.
The frying study is the best tool to gather this necessary information for the decision-making process. It is also essential that all fryers who wish to evaluate any filtration or treatment system clearly establish goals and the indices that are to be used to determine endpoints; that is, will it be a chemical index of oil quality, a physical indicator, or a food quality attribute? All studies really should include the latter, since producing consistently high quality food is why people fry and why people enjoy fried foods so much.
Table 1: Oil Filtration Pros and Cons
|Pros of Filtration
· Reduced energy usage
| Cons of Filtration
Table 2: Oil Usage and Costs
|Day of Oil Use||
(days in year/oil usage)
(cycles x oil used
Oil = $1.00/lb
*Assuming a 50-pound fryer.