by Laurie Gorton
Acrylamides represent a serious concern for processors of baked foods and snacks. These harmful chemicals can form when foods containing sugar and protein cook at high temperatures as part of the browning reaction. In November, the Food and Drug Administration issued a guidance document about acrylamide abatement. While such documents do not set “must follow” regulations, they lay out recommended practices. Fried foods are particularly susceptible to acrylamide formation.
A new Unitized Vacuum Fryer from Heat and Control gets around this problem. It operates at 10% or less of normal atmospheric pressure, which means that moisture boils out at lower temperatures than in traditional fryers. The fryer keeps oil at temperatures below 248°F (120°C), the point at which acrylamide forms. “This also allows you to fry high-sugar potatoes, yams, apples and other products while controlling browning,” explained Don Giles, director of sales, processing systems, Heat and Control.
The Unitized Vacuum Fryer needs no external enclosure. “This saves floor space and eliminates the hazardous, labor-intensive process required by other designs of moving the fryer in and out of a vacuum chamber for cleaning and maintenance,” Mr. Giles said.