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Title: Porous Media Based Model For Deep Frying Potato Chips In A Vacuum
Authors: Mitrea, Diana
Keywords: Frying
Issue Date: 24-May-2010
Abstract: Deep-fat fried foods, such as potato chips, are prevalent in modern consumption habits. Low-pressure deep-fat frying has become increasingly popular in today’s food products industry, and is used extensively by some of the largest potato chip manufacturers. Notably, an alternative technology has emerged: frying in a vacuum. The alternative approach allows frying to occur at much lower temperatures than regular atmospheric temperatures. Further, as shown in this paper, the alternative process -- in application to the potato chip industry-- reduces the amount of the carcinogen acrylamide formed process as compared to current practices, a noteworthy advantage. To conduct the comparative analysis, a theoretical model was formulated and implemented using commercial software in order to further refine our understanding of the principles supporting low-pressure (vacuum) frying. The model can assist our understanding by presenting analyses that can be instrumental in determining the optimal operating parameters, such as oil temperature and pressure. As a starting point, an existing model of atmospheric potato chip frying was utilized and subsequently modified and improved upon to reflect more appropriate and accurate behavior under vacuum frying. The modeling results for moisture content, acrylamide content, and additional measures are then compared to existing measures from previous experiments for potato chip frying in a vacuum. The analysis shows that acrylamide formation is significantly reduced by vacuum frying at the lower temperature. The analysis performed also indicates that the moisture content profiles for the new process cook more quickly under the vacuum process as compared to the atmospheric process. In addition, the idea of frying potato chips in vacuum as a potential food source for astronauts is explored. Astronauts have indicated they become tired of packaged foods on long space flights, but still require a constant stream of nutrition and energy sources; thus, the use of vacuum frying technology may be of interest to international space programs. As such, an analysis of this application is discussed, and the results of frying in space are compared to atmospheric and vacuum frying as well.
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