• fish nuggets;
  • French fries;
  • frying;
  • oil degradation;
  • scanning electron microscopy

Abstract:  Oil that is reused multiple times for deep frying goes through changes in chemical composition and physical characteristics, affecting the quality of the fried foods. In this study, the effect of the food type (fish nuggets or French fries) on the degradation of an oil blend during the deep-fat frying of each food at 180°C during 12 days was determined, and the characteristics of the fried products were evaluated. The degradation of oil during repeated use was relatively faster when fish nuggets were fried than when French fries were fried, as higher values of total polar compounds were obtained.

Practical Application:  The results are useful for producers of French fries and fish nuggets, such as restaurants or fast foods sellers, providing them with practical guidelines within the permitted values established by the regulatory authorities. The studied foods have high economic importance and are different in their composition. Under the studied conditions, the tested oil blend may be used during 4 d (4 h per day) with a daily replenishment, without discarding the oil when frying fish nuggets, and must be discarded after 8 d when French fries are processed. This suggestion allows preparing safe fried foods for consumers.