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Keywords:

  • Deep-frying;
  • Frying oil;
  • Laboratory methods;
  • Quality parameters;
  • Rapid tests

Quality of deep-fried food is inseparably attached to the quality of the used deep-frying oil. Taste, flavor, shelf life, consumer acceptance, and safety of fried food essentially depend on frying oil quality. Evaluation of frying oil quality therefore is an important issue for both frying operators and official food control agencies. Organoleptic evaluation is an essential step in the monitoring of frying fat quality. Several official laboratory methods are available to support the sensory evaluation. Total polar materials (TPM) and polymer TAGs (PTG) are the most reliable parameters for this purpose. Recommended and widely accepted limits are 24% for TPM and 12% for PTG. When oxidative alterations strongly predominate over thermal alterations, sensory defects can appear before TPM and PTG reach recommended values. In that case additional parameters like anisidine value, carbonyl value, or epoxy fatty acids should be considered. A number of physical and chemical rapid methods are available. Despite the limited informative value and the possibility of error of rapid tests, they are essential for fryer operators, because they deliver information about fat quality in real-time. Most reliable for most applications are quick tests measuring TPM. A unique and powerful tool for the simultaneous detection of multiple parameters corresponding to thermal and oxidative alterations is near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which will become more and more important in future.