As the world’s demand for fried food continues to expand, there is a large increase in manufacturers, restaurants and cafes considering fried options to sell.

From ice-cream and chocolate bars to seafood, there is simply no limit to what can be tossed into deep fryer and served up to the general public today.

However, some of the issues associated with this trend is the education behind frying, ensuring the products created are of the highest standard and that food safety is always a consideration. With this in mind, it pays to understand cooking oil quality and what devices are available on the market to measure it.

Cooking oil quality – what causes it?

Cooking oil, like any product, ages as a result of many factors. With relation to deep frying, this can include what food was fried, the heat at which the oil was heated and the amount of times it was used. In scientific terms, this is referred to as thermal oxidative modification.

The quality of cooking oil can also decrease due to time spent at room temperature, causing an oxidation reaction between the air and the oil.

With cooking oil becoming an important tool for many industries, scientists had to come up with a way to measure quality. Research revealed that an excellent way to see how used or old cooking oil is was to test the total polar materials (TPM). In essence, a high level of polar components illustrates that the cooking oil is of low quality and has been used frequently.

Danger of using old, used cooking oil

There are a number of risks associated with a company using cooking oil that is well past its best. A recent Testo article looked at the Frying Oil Quality Curve, which explains each step of the process.

As the oil begins to get older, the fried food becomes darker and could feature spotty surfaces. In addition, the fried shell is less crisp and the food absorbs much more oil than usual. This can leave a bitter or unpleasant taste and isn’t particularly healthy either.

There is also another stage of the degradation of cooking oil. The product produced is hard, oily and the food inside might not even cook properly. This can then cause problems from a food safety point of view. It can also produce a burnt flavour and give off a pungent smell.

Basically, the more times cooking oil is used and the longer it’s left, the poorer the quality it will be and the lower the quality of the fried product.

The testo 270

In recent years, technology has significantly improved in the world of cooking oil quality. Gone is the need for complex column chromatography or laborious lab tests.

Now, industries can enjoy an electronic hand-held instrument for daily use in any environment. Known as the testo 270 cooking oil tester, this compact device tests the TPM through a sensor that can be placed in hot oil.

Simply lower the metal probe shaft into the oil and within 20 seconds get a reading as how much the oil is used up and the overall quality. The sensor is breakage-proof and can be easily wiped clean and used again in seconds – handy for businesses running multiple deep fryers.

The testo 270 features both an audible and optical alarm to alert users that a pre-determined figure has been exceeded. This ensures standards are maintained across all fryers.

Users also get the benefit of a transparent plastic cover called TopSafe. This protects the device from impact and dirt and guarantees optimum hygienic conditions.

For more information about the testo 270 cooking oil tester, contact the expert team at Testo today.