• methylcellulose;
  • whey protein isolate;
  • nitrogen gas;
  • crispness;
  • chicken nuggets

ABSTRACT: The effects of 2 edible coatings, methylcellulose (MC) and whey protein isolate (WPI), and 2 pressure sources (nitrogen gas and steam) on the quality attributes (crispness, moisture and fat content, juiciness, color, and texture) of breaded fried chicken nuggets were evaluated. MC or WPI was incorporated into either the pre-dust or the batter before frying. Chicken nuggets were fried in a modified restaurant-type pressure fryer under a constant pressure of 163 kPa at 175°C for 240 s. Samples were held under a heat lamp at 60°C for 0-, 10-, 20-, and 30-min time intervals. Crispness was evaluated using a nondestructive ultrasonic technique. Coating type and pressure source had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on all quality attributes. Chicken nuggets fried using nitrogen gas were crispier (P < 0.05) than those fried with steam. The treatment combination of MC incorporated into the pre-dust and frying with nitrogen gas was the most effective at maintaining product crispness.