Know when your oil is ready is to be changed – and other tips on avoiding bad oil
Over-using oil past its natural fry-life, for example, can create toxins in your food - and breach legislation over harmful compounds.
One of these toxins is acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical substance, formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars.
It is widely agreed that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer and is therefore a risk to human health. Since 2018, food service operators have had a legal duty to take steps to manage acrylamide in food.
Careful oil measurement is one of the simplest and most effective ways to comply with the legislation. The paper shows how food service operators can tell when their oil is ready to be changed, gives advice on the law relating to acrylamide, and shares some of the industry techniques used by Prep’s oil management experts.
The paper explains that acrylamide typically occurs when foods with a high starch content, such as potatoes, root vegetables and bread, are cooked at temperatures over 120°C from the process of frying, roasting or baking.
It therefore recommends frying at a maximum of 175°C or lower if possible, adding: “Where appropriate, cook for longer at a lower temperature but always ensure foods are properly cooked.”
Prep brand manager Olivia Shuttleworth said: “The Science Behind Great Fried Food gives simple explanations about what causes oil to degrade, the chemical changes that can occur and the composition of different oils. It also shows why it’s important not to use oil that is past its best; not only could it be very bad for business, but it could also have serious health implications.
“Ultimately, choosing long-life frying oil is a business investment that pays off in terms of time, cost, safety, health and food quality.”
AAK’s Prep: The Science Behind Great Fried Food is available to download free at: www.prepoils.co.uk.