From Our 2007 Archives

Scientists Serve Up Better Fish Batter

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Deep-fried fish with less fat may be on the menu soon, according to Japanese scientists who say they've concocted a recipe for low-fat but crispy fish batter.

Reporting in Chemistry & Industry magazine, the Tokyo University of Technology team analyzed how the structure of batter molecules change during the frying process. They then altered the water content and frying time to create a highly-crisp batter with less fat.

A rigid microstructure of pores is formed in batter when it's deep-fried. This microstructure contributes to the texture of the batter and also determines how much oil is absorbed during frying, the researchers explained. A major factor is water, which evaporates during cooking and leaves the pores responsible for crispiness. Too much residual moisture causes soggy cooked batter.

But larger pores trap less oil during frying, which reduces the amount of fat. The Japanese team used a batter with a moisture content of 60 percent and found that frying it for five minutes produced a highly-crisp but lower-fat batter.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Society of Chemical Industry, news release, Sept. 24, 2007

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