Once you’ve selected the right fryer for your cooking needs, the next step third factor in the Five Factors for FitFrying is to find the right oil. Much attention and study has been given to oil in recent years—its composition, how it impacts the frying process, which type(s) work best with certain foods and ways to extend its life cycle.
The qualities of your frying oil impact both oil functionality and food quality. Base oils for deep-frying include soy, canola, corn, grape seed, peanut, safflower, sunflower, blends and more. Each type of oil has unique characteristics such as flavor, smoke point, nutritional profile and stability.
Prime considerations for foodservice oils used in deep fat frying, pan frying and griddle frying include sensory attributes, fry life, cost, availability and nutritional considerations. Consider the features and benefits of the different base oils as they relate to your cooking application to select the best oil for your restaurant application.
Historically, frying oil stability was achieved primarily through partial hydrogenation, an artificial process in which hydrogen is applied to the processing of frying oil. This process often creates artificial trans fat and/or increased saturated fat which are commonly associated with increased health risks, such as heart disease.
Given recent food labeling, nutritional and menu legislation movements and policy changes, the food industry is seeking vegetable oils that not only have enhanced functionality but minimize levels of trans- and saturated fat.
In light of these changes, a new generation of oils has been introduced in the marketplace. Advanced plant breeding technologies have helped create oils that provide enhanced stability and functionality for deep frying, while meeting healthy oil requirements and often improving the mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acid (“good” fats) content and removing partial hydrogenation from the label.
In addition, these enhanced oils also provide your operation with greater stability and functionality needed for deep frying. Greater stability and functionality allow you to have a longer frylife and more versatile oil, creating savings in your restaurant’s bottom line.
Examples of new generation oils include high-oleic, mid-oleic and low-linolenic varieties. Oil manufacturers also offer blends, providing a wider variety of unique flavor profiles and performance.
|Oil||Uses||Smoke Point||Flavor Characteristics||Health/Nutrition Characteristics|
|Canola||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||High – 468°F||Mild flavor||Low in saturated fat – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. .|
|Canola High-oleic||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||High – 475°F||Mild Flavor||Low in saturated fat - helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Corn||Deep-frying, pan-frying||High – 453°F||Light taste – can be used in place of olive oil||Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Olive||Sautéing, stir-frying||Low to Med unrefined:
|Bland to very strong, depending on type||A monounsaturated oil – the green/golden variety has more antioxidants. Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Peanut (refined)||Stir-frying, deep-frying, wok cooking, sautéing, grilling||High – about 471°F||Can add a rich, nutty taste, but does not absorb or transfer flavors||Contains resveratrol, an antioxidant which supports heart health.|
|Safflower (refined)||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing,
|High – 446°F||Bland, flavorless||High in polyunsaturated fats – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Safflower High-oleic||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||High - 468°F||Bland, flavorless||High in polyunsaturated fats – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Sesame (refined)||Wok cooking, dressings, flavoring||Medium – 410°F||Pungent – used to flavor many Asian dishes||High in vitamin E an antioxidant which supports heart health.|
|Sunflower (refined)||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing||High – 464°F||Generally bland||High in polyunsaturated fats – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Soybean Oil High Oleic||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||Mild flavor||Highest Oleic content of any soybean oil|
|Soybean Oil High Oleic Low Saturated Fat*||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||Mild flavor, allowing flavor of the food to come thru (vs flavor of the oil itself)||Lowest in saturated fat of all oils – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Sunflower High-oleic||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing||High – 478°F||Generally bland||High in polyunsaturated fats – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.|
|Vegetable (often refined soy oil)||Deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, baking||High – 453°F||Generally mild flavor||Soy oil is high in polyunsaturated fats – helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO) contain trans fat, which may increase health risks.|
From a saturated fat content, the following chart illustrates how the various oils stack up:
Five Factors for FitFrying