The relationship between moisture loss and oil uptake at different combination of Frying Oil Temperatures (FOT) and time during deep-fat frying of chicken meat was investigated in this study. Chicken meat samples were diced and fried at different FOT (170°C, 180°C, and 190°C) in an industrial fryer for periods varying from 5 to 900 s. Fat analysis was accomplished in a soxhlet extraction apparatus with petroleum ether solvent. Prior to fat analysis samples were freeze dried and the moisture analysis was based on the standard AOAC standard method. The results show that a cook value of 415 s was found to give the most ideal sensory characteristics. The relationship between moisture loss and oil uptake during the initial phase of frying (<45 s) was erratic and appeared to be independent of frying oil temperature. A linear correlation existed (r = 0.97) between moisture loss and frying time. Oil uptake was positively correlated to moisture loss in the range of frying times 45 s to about 600 s. After 600 s, oil uptake tended to equilibrate while moisture loss continued in the quasi-equilibrium state. The relationship between moisture loss and oil uptake is an important phenomenon in the context of characterizing the physical properties of fried product. The rate of oil uptake was 1.64 and 1.74 g/s for the FOT 180°C and 190°C, respectively, and the rate (1.35 g/s) at FOT 170°C was significantly (P < 0.05) lower.
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