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Reducing The Oil Content In Coated And Deep-fried Chicken Using Whey Protein

Robert G. Brannan, Katherine L. Pettit
Published 2015 · Chemistry

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Whey protein has been investigated for its oil barrier properties in fried foods. Whey protein has been implemented successfully non-film forming applications to reduce the fat content of deep-fried chicken. As a 10% postbreading dip, whey protein solutions significantly lowered oil absorption of boneless patties by 37% compared to undipped controls. In bone-in chicken thighs, 10% whey protein postbreading dip caused a 15% reduction in oil absorption during frying which was doubled by 10% β-lactoglobulin postbreading dip at pH 2. A 30% lipid reduction was observed in deep-fried battered and floured chicken strips when the strips were dipped in a 10% solution of denatured whey protein prior to frying compared to control chicken strips. When added to the batter of deep-fried chicken nuggets, a significant fat reduction was observed for nuggets to which 3% whey protein was added to the batter compared to the control. In chicken strips that were marinated in a 15% solution of whey protein, a 35% fat reduction was observed. In spite of these results, questions that still remain. These studies have been undertaken in fully cooked products, not in raw coated or par-fried products. The impact of rethermalization method is not known. Only preliminary research on the impact of WPI on the frying oil with respect to the formation of polar materials has been undertaken. On the positive side, the processes for introducing whey protein as an oil inhibition agent utilize processing steps that are already very common, e.g. incorporation into the batter or a marinade. Whey protein has the potential to be employed as an oil inhibiting agent in fried foods especially as it is relatively inexpensive and easy to come by.
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