BACKGROUND: As a result of consumers' health concerns and the trend towards healthier and low-fat food products, research has been undertaken to reduce the amount of fat absorbed in fried foods. This work focused on studying the efficacy of sorbitol and glycerol as plasticizers of methylcellulose coatings used to reduce oil uptake during the frying process of potato chips
RESULTS: Changes in color, mechanical properties, water activity and lipid oxidation during storage were monitored. Also, an explanation regarding the different performances between both methylcellulose coatings with and without plasticizer was attained and techniques from the field of packaging films such as dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were applied to analyze the behavior of coatings submitted to the frying operation. The application of a methylcellulose coating was an adequate choice to reduce oil absorption in fried potato chips. The most effective formulation was 10 g L−1 methylcellulose with the addition of 7.5 g L−1 sorbitol. With the incorporation of this formulation, oil absorption was reduced by 30%. Neither the sorbitol concentration nor the presence of the MC coating affected the puncture maximum force and color parameters L and a*. The results of the sensory analysis indicated that the panelists could not distinguish between the coated and uncoated potato chips.
CONCLUSION: Methylcellulose-based coating plasticized with sorbitol could be an alternative for obtaining healthier potato chips. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry