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Fatty acid composition of oils impacts fried product flavor, stability.

It is possible to use genetic modification or traditional breeding techniques to alter the fatty acid composition of oilseeds. Lowering the linolenic acid content in canola and soybean oils has enabled plant breeders to improve the flavor quality and oxidative stability of these oils. But because the composition of a frying fat or oil has a significant effect on the flavor of fried food, it is important to determine the effects that these alterations of fatty acid composition have on flavor.

Decreasing the levels of linolenic acid and increasing the levels of oleic acid in canola oil give greater frying stability as measured by the number of total polar compounds (TPCs). But potato chips fried in canola oil with 78% oleic acid and 19% linoleic acid have less fried potato flavor than potato chips fried in canola oil with 64% oleic acid and 24% linoleic acid.

Fried-food flavor may partly be derived from the formation of 2,4-decadienal during the thermal oxidation of linoleic acid. You have to optimize both the fried-food flavor intensity and the length of frying life of the oil by selecting appropriate fatty acid compositions for frying oils.

USDA/ARS researchers investigated the effects of changing the oleic and linoleic acid composition of oils on the flavor characteristics of fresh potato chips and french-fried potatoes and on the storage stability of potato chips. They also determined the optimal fatty acid composition to achieve a balance between desirable fried-food intensity, the storage stability of fried food and the extended fry life of the oil.

Commercially processed cottonseed oil and high-oleic sunflower oil were blended to produce oils with 12% to 55% linoleic acid content and 16% to 78% oleic acid content. Sensory panels evaluated french-fried potatoes and pilot-plant-processed potato chips. Initially, both foods prepared in cottonseed oil (16% oleic and 55% linoleic acid) had the highest intensities of fried-food flavor. But this decreased with decreasing levels of linoleic acid. In addition, 2,4-decadienal in potato chips decreased with decreasing levels of linoleic acid in the oils.

Researchers measured frying oil stability using TPCs and oxidative stability by analyzing volatile compounds. High oleic sunflower oil (78% oleic acid) produced the lowest levels of TPCs, and the lowest levels of hexanal and pentanal compounds, indicating greater frying oil stability and oxidative stability of the food. However, fresh potato chips fried in high oleic sunflower oil had the lowest intensities of fried-food flavor and lowest overall flavor quality. Fried-food flavor intensity was the best indicator of overall flavor quality in fresh potato chips.

Further information. Kathleen Warner, USDA-ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Food Quality and Safety Research Unit, Room 3032, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604; phone: 309-681-6584; fax: 309-681-6340; email: warnerk@ncaur.usda.gov.
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:458
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