The use of cooking oils plays a huge role in culinary businesses across New Zealand. They are used in a wide array of deep-fried dishes, from the humble french fry through to more complex creations such as spring rolls and fritters. But when using cooking oils, operators have to be aware of the risks associated with heating and deep frying foods in oil. Cooking oils that usually are safe for human consumption at room temperature undergo a chemical change that can make them harmful when heated beyond a certain temperature or when used excessively. That is why it is important to understand the science behind cooking oil so that you can understand how to correctly measure the temperature and quality of oil to ensure that it is safe for cooking.
When is cooking oil safe to cook in?
All oil used for deep frying should be tested to ensure it has been heated to a safe but not excessive cooking point. This point varies based on the type of oil that is being used, but a general rule of thumb is between 160 and 190 degrees Celsius.
The best means of measuring the temperature of cooking oil is a specialised digital thermometer. These thermometers are specifically designed to take an accurate reading of the oil quickly and precisely. Furthermore, it is a good idea to test any oil that is being reused for deep-frying purposes with a cooking oil tester that can measure the Total Polar Material (TPM).
TPM is used to measure the chemical deterioration of cooking oil. It does this by identifying the percentage of oil compounds that are more polar than the triacylglycerols of the fat. As cooking oil its reused, the TPM percentage of the oil gradually increases.
With a cooking oil tester, you'll be able to measure the TPM score over time. When the number exceeds 24%, it indicates that it is time to discard the oil.By ensuring that you are using fresh, adequately heated oil for deep-frying you'll be able to deliver quality, safe food every time. For more information on tools to maintain safe practises when working with cooking oils, contact the team at Testo New Zealand today!