Interesting news from the January edition of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Research Briefs, giving french fries a dose of infra red before frying reduces the amount of oil the fries absorb by one third.
This is because the IR prep “forms a nice, microscopic crust on the fries, which helps reduce oil uptake.”
So, first things first, why would you zap your fries? The main reason is actually to stop enzymatic browning that can turn the fries, well, a not so nice brown colour. This is normally achieved by blanching the fries in hot water or steam for 14 minutes. Apparently, the energy usage of the 3 minutes IR treatment is on par with that of the hot water.
Taste tastes were carried out and more than half of the volunteers said they didn’t notice a difference compared to normally prepared French fries. Also (rather confusing) more than half of them preferred the texture of the IR fries.
The research has been published in the peer reviewed journal Food Chemistry