A Better Oil Blend for Deep Frying

Blending adds desirable properties to frying oil without affecting flavor and performance.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) phase-out of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in 2018 sent consumer packaged goods (CPG) and foodservice brands searching for fry oil alternatives that provide a long fry life, shelf stability, and an appetizing texture and appearance. Enter high oleic soybean oil (HOSO). Rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, HOSO reduces foodservice and food manufacturers’ maintenance and production costs, and it can be blended with conventional oils to increase supply and boost performance.

Blends of HOSO and commodity oils, for liquid oils and shortenings, are gaining traction in the food industry as high-quality choices for versatile, cost-reducing replacements of PHOs. Studies have shown that HOSO blends can preserve the flavor profile of foods normally fried in conventional oils. Switching to a HOSO-blended frying oil allows food makers to extend fry life, reduce cleaning costs, and increase profitability without sacrificing quality in their products.

From chips and fries to donuts and pies, these blends are the ideal, functional solution for large-scale and foodservice deep frying.

Reduces Costs

The FDA’s decision to ban PHOs precipitated an interest among food manufacturers in palm oil and blends. However, 2018 was also a year of significant public outcry against health, environmental, and humanitarian concerns over palm kernel products. Luckily, sustainable, domestically sourced alternatives have recently come to market in the form of fry oils and blended products made from high oleic soybeans.

Extending fry life reduces costs of production and makes less waste. Commercial and foodservice kitchens can realize these benefits by using high oleic soybean oil and blends in their applications. With an oxidative stability index of greater than 20 hours, deep frying in HOSO results in less buildup on kitchen equipment and more value from every gallon. HOSO also extends shelf life, resulting in less product waste.

U.S. farmers are expected to exponentially expand the acreage of high oleic soybeans over the next decade. As supply grows to meet demand, the market for HOSO and blended products will likewise expand. Foodservice operators and manufacturers of chips and other deep-fried foods can expect to see coming to market an increasing number of specialized, high stability frying oil blends made with high oleic soybean oil.

A Versatile Oil Grown in the U.S.

Shortening blends made with high oleic soybean oil are also excellent for deep frying. The shift away from PHOs left the food processing industry looking for a suitable, high stability oil that did not cause weeping and other undesirable effects. In a donut frying study, HOSO outperformed other shortening blends in shelf stability and weeping. Currently, oil producers are marketing specialized frying blends that use HOSO as the blending source.

For food makers looking to replace imported oils like canola and palm, HOSO presents an attractive, U.S.-grown alternative. HOSO can replace high oleic canola oil in preparations without affecting flavor or texture. Additionally, the superior oxidative stability of HOSO means it can extend the shelf life of prepacked goods with fewer off-notes and a strong defense against staling. 

High Performance Functionality

Currently, processing solutions exist to create products from HOSO with properties similar to PHOs, but without trans fats. One such technique is enzymatic interesterification (EIE). A fry shortening evaluation showed that EIE high oleic soybean oil performed on par with PHO soybean oil in terms of texture, color, and fry life.

In the interesterification process, enzymes rearrange fatty acids to fine-tune the temperature at which an oil becomes solid. In deep frying tests, EIE high oleic soybean oil consistently outperformed palm oil blends in concentration of Total Polar Materials (TPMs).

The presence of TPMs, a measure of fry life, increases as fry oil is used: lower concentrations of TPMs indicate longer fry life of oils, and higher concentrations indicate deterioration. In a performance and sensory study, after three rounds of frying donuts, the EIE high oleic soybean oil had noticeably lower concentration and a lower rate of increase of TPMs than other oils. Translation: food makers can fry more donuts for their dollar by using shortenings made with EIE high oleic soybean oil.

The study’s sensory panel determined that donuts fried in shortening made with EIE high oleic soybean oil produced texture and color very close to donuts fried in shortenings made from PHO soybean oil. EIE high oleic soybean oil also extended the fry life of oil better than PHO soybean oil. Already, there are several commercially available HOSO blends that are specifically formulated for frying applications. High oleic soybean oil is rich in unsaturated fats, making it an ideal blending source for its versatility and desirable properties. Interested in trying high oleic soybean oil or EIE high oleic soybean oil in an application? Request a sample.


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