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Food Safety Focus (212th Issue, March 2024) – Article 4

Safe Use of Oil for Deep-frying

Deep-frying is a popular cooking method which can add crispiness and a golden colour to food. When deep-frying, steps can be followed to minimise undesirable chemical reactions and enhance food safety and quality.

Select oil with higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids like rapeseed oil and high-oleic sunflower oil, as they are more resilient at high temperatures. Moisture in food should be minimised and excessive batter and breadcrumb coating should be avoided. Keep the oil temperature at between 150 - 180°C as too high of a temperature can accelerate the breakdown of oil and the production of process contaminants like glycidyl esters (GE) and 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol esters (3-MCPDE), while too low of a temperature will increase the amount of oil absorbed. Reduce the oil temperature to 120 - 130°C when idling. Cover the oil to minimise the exposure to light and air when heating is off. Remove residues and clean the fryer regularly. Change the frying oil when it has unusual colour or odour, or starting to smoke or foam.