Document Type : Research Article


1 Islamic Azad University, Varamin Pishva Branch

2 Department of Food Science, Varamin-Pishva Branch, Islamic Azad University, Varamin, Iran.


Introduction: Potato is raw food stuff with high popularity worldwide when deep fried. Deep frying is a fast budget process used for preparing savory food. In this process, oil is used both as a heating intermediate and as an ingredient producing calorific products. Nutrition has become a major health concern, particularly in developmental countries where obesity has turned into an ever-increasing problem, mostly among children. Deep frying is a widely-practiced method for cooking fast foods with desirable sensory properties. Frying is a process of simultaneous heat and mass transfer where heat is transferred by a combination of convection and conduction. At high temperatures, a great amount of moisture content is also lost as vapor, compensated by oil uptake in foods. Oil uptake of foods is an important concern associated with their moisture loss. Thus, it is important to examine moisture loss during frying. Today, the interest in production and consumption of low-fat French fries is on the rise. At the same time, the frying method has a great effect on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of foods. The final moisture content in French fries is about 38% of the product’s final weight. sufficient moisture content is therefore required in French fries to achieve both a soft moist core and a crunchy tasty crust. Numerous methods or pretreatments such as ultrasound and drying may improve these properties. Moreover, finding relationships between different variables during deep frying by modelling may provide an optimal control over process conditions thereby improving the quality of the final fried product. In the present study, effects of ultrasound and drying pretreatments on moisture content, oil uptake, activation energy and effective moisture diffusion coefficient in Satina potato slices during deep frying were investigated.
Material and methods: 10kg of Satina potatoes were provided and stored at room temperature. Bahar vegetable frying oil containing cotton seed, sunflower and soybean oils was used for frying. For each experiment, potatoes were washed, peeled and sliced by a household French fry cutter with 1.2×1.2×4 cm dimensions. The cut samples were placed in a plate to avoid moisture loss and were washed with distilled water to remove surface starch before frying. The excess surface water was also removed by a hygroscopic paper. Then ultrasonic pretreatments at two frequencies of 20 and 40 kHz were applied for 15min, and the drying pretreatment was also conducted at 60°C for 15min. To fry the samples the fryer was filled with 1.5 lit of oil. The deep fryer was set to adjust temperature and frying time automatically. When the temperature reached the set value, 100-120g potato samples were placed in the frying basket, which was then submerged in oil automatically. The pretreated samples were fried at 170°C and 190°C for 5, 7 and 10 min. Oil uptake and moisture loss during frying were recorded at certain time intervals. Next, the fried samples were removed from the deep fryer and were placed on a mesh tray to remove the excess oil. The oil uptake and moisture content were analyzed. Oil content was measured by the Soxhlet method. It is based on extracting fat from foods using proper solvents. Moisture content was measured by drying in a convection oven at 105°C until reaching a constant weight. Moisture content and oil uptake of potatoes slices during deep frying were also modeled versus time. The factorial experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with three replications, and means were compared using Duncan’s multiple-range test. SPSS 14 was used for statistical analyses.
Results & Discussion: According to the results, samples pretreated with 20 kHz ultrasound at the same temperature and time conditions had higher moisture content than those treated with the 40 kHz frequency. The highest moisture content was found in samples pretreated with 20 kHz at 170°C for 5min. On the other hand, samples receiving 40 kHz ultrasound pretreatment showed higher effective moisture diffusion coefficient and activation energy than those receiving the 20 kHz pretreatment. The highest diffusion coefficient was achieved using 40 kHz at 190°C for 5min, whereas the highest activation energy was observed with 40 kHz at 170°C for 10 min. It should be mentioned that the effective diffusion coefficient was within the 6.95 × 10-8 – 8.80×10-8 m2/s (R2=0.99) range. Activation energy was also in the range of 13.161 – 16.307 kJ/mol (R2=0.99).
Conclution: Samples pretreated with 40 kHz ultrasound showed the lowest oil uptake as compared with those pretreated with 20 kHz frequency. The highest oil uptake was observed for samples pretreated with 20 kHz at 170°C for 10 min. Through the multivariable regression analysis, it was found that the exponential model had the best fitting in predicting changes in moisture content and oil absorption.