Despite the foodservice market trending towards healthier fayre in general, there is still a place for the humble fryer to create distinctive-tasting food, especially in light of the popularity of high end burger chains.
Therefore manufacturers and suppliers are lining up new fryer products, such as Henny Penny’s Evolution Elite series.
Supplier, Jestic Foodservice Equipment, distributes this US brand, with product director Michael Eyre commenting: “The Evolution Elite technology enables the operator to filter individual vats at the touch of a button while the remaining vats continue to cook uninterrupted.
“The system drains the oil before rinsing away any crumbs or contaminant and returning the hot, filtered oil to the vat in less than 4 minutes. The fully automated system means no handles, valves or anything else to open or close during the process.”
Additionally the supplier has introduced Henny Penny’s Velocity series to the UK market. This is claimed to use up to 25% less oil as it automatically filters the oil in between baskets to extend its life.
“This directly reduces vat capacity whilst retaining production,” said Eyre. “In turn this means significantly less is required to be transported to a site, operators need to store less fresh oil and the requirement for used oil storage tanks and transport away from site is minimised.”
He feels that in order to improve take-up of oil filtration within the fryer market, there needs to be more training across the industry. “We firmly believe that the technology is already there when it comes to extending oil life and the wider efficiency of the equipment, but a general focus on education would go a way to enhancing take up in this area of the market.”
The supplier has also taken on a new staff member to train dealers and operators in the best use of the Evolution Elite series. Eyre said: “Working primarily with one of our biggest customers, we are doing our bit for furthering the education of fryers and frying across the industry.” [[page-break]]
He sees the future of the fryer sector being about the quality of the oil and the uptake of legislation from Europe. “By implementing oil testing devices into the controls for a fryer, operators will be able to precisely identify the quality of the oil, enabling them to better understand when it is safe to use or when it requires changing.
“In addition to this, an oil testing device would also help comply with the European legislation on oil quality that is sure to be implemented into the UK in the near future. Designed to put a maximum Total Polar Compounds (TPM) limit on oil used for cooking, the testing system would alert the operator when this limit is exceeded and a change is required.”
Over at Manitowoc, its Frymaster Fryers brand has pioneered the introduction of oil saving technology since the 1980s with the Computer Magic operating panel. Its most recent advancement is the 30-lb, with automatic intermittent filtration.
Furthermore it has just introduced what is claimed to be the world’s first integrated oil quality sensor able to measure the TPM level of the oil. “This highly repeatable electronic measurement has proven to be 39% more accurate than hand held devices,” reported Steve Hemsil, national sales manager distribution – UK and Ireland, Manitowoc Foodservice UK.
The manufacturer aims to ensure that its Frymaster products do not contribute to FOG issues, by offering systems with built-in filters and providing training on use and care to ensure operators get the maximum life for the frying oil.
“Improving the take up of oil filtration is all about ease of use for the filtering process,” said Hemsil. “Filtering the oil was a dirty, difficult and dangerous process – making it simple for the operator will increase the likelihood one will filter as prescribed.”
He believes there will be a continued focus on oil savings and life, and simplifying the process of maintenance and cleaning. “I also think we will see small gains in energy efficient heater systems along with the introduction of new user interfaces, touch screens/software, to manage the fry station overall operation, again with the goal of saving oil, and thus money.” [[page-break]]
For Falkirk-based Falcon Foodservice Equipment, a fryer is a crucial feature of its new F900 series. The G9341F fryer is part of the latest launch and is a single pan, twin basket fryer with built-in filtration.
Falcon’s development chef, Neil Roseweir, detailed: “The fryer offers fast heat-up and recovery times, using just 18litres of oil and 23kW of power.
"The inbuilt filtration means that oil can be filtered and cleaned, even when it is warm, simply by pressing a button. This significantly increases the oil’s longevity and maintains food quality.”
Many of the manufacturer’s models offer inbuilt filtration, which it says typically doubles the oil life. “Our pan design also means less oil is required in the first place, again reducing the amount that requires disposal,” added Roseweir.
“Most Falcon fryers are supplied with an oil transport bucket to help dispose of the oil.”
He thinks that education and appreciation of oil cost would be likely to improve the take up of oil management features. “The main cost during the lifecycle of a fryer is oil, so big savings can be made by better management and filtration of oil.
"These features also have health and safety implications – helping caterers move towards a safer, better working environment.”
In the future he can see more manufacturers offering inbuilt filtration with minimum need for operator intervention. “There is also a demand for fryers with quick recovery times, a smaller footprint and those suitable for integration into cook lines,” he commented. [[page-break]]
At Valentine, its most recent launch is the Evo series, which it believes has a range of features that contribute to oil- and energy-saving costs.
“We ensure that our fryers do not contribute to the FOG problem by recommending that users ensure they use each litre of oil as productively as possible by utilising the primary filtration system that comes with each fryer,” said Steve Elliott, Valentine’s national sales manager.
“In establishments which use fryers extensively, or where the menu features fried food such as fish and chips, we would always recommend the use of fryers with an in-built secondary filtration system. Correct disposal of used oil is obviously also important.”
He cautioned: “If users realised that the additional costs in purchasing the oil filtration systems could lead to savings over the years of use, this would encourage take up.
"We can offer a system which measures the oil to ensure that the maximum use is realised. This ensures that the operators do not discard oil that still has some useful life left.”
Elliott feels that going forwards, fryer development will involve more automation, better information and energy control, better energy efficiency and reduced oil capacity per kilogram of output.
Competitor Lincat is pushing forward with a major product development cycle, having recently added five new models to its FriFri SuperEasy range of fryers.
“We have introduced new versions, power options and features to make the range more accessible to a wider range of customers,” said Lincat development chef, Paul Hickman. [[page-break]]
The newest additions to the range are the SuperEasy 311 fryers. Fitting between the 211 and 411, the two 300mm models have been designed specifically for the UK market.
“Available in both 11.4kW and 15kW outputs, the 311 fryers feature all the hallmarks of the SuperEasy range in terms of design, build quality, materials and features,” Hickman commented.
The brand has also added higher watt versions of the SuperEasy 211 (11kW), 411 and 422 (22kW) models, designed to meet the demands of higher capacity cooking.
Made from stainless steel, these single basket fryers are manufactured with one-piece stainless steel tanks and hinged heating elements with two tilt positions for easy cleaning.
As part of the development of the range, all SuperEasy fryers can now be specified with pumped filtration systems.
According to Hickman: “With a pumped system, customers can flush frying vats with cleaned returning oil to remove base debris created during frying, then remove any remaining debris with a paper towel for disposal, reducing the need for washing using water and chemicals.”
However he was cautious about the progress of oil filtration take up in the industry, saying: “Whilst industry attitudes towards filtration systems are changing, there’s still some way to go. In the end, it comes down to increasing customer understanding about the benefits, and specifically the cost savings that filtration and oil management features provide.”
“The other key benefit of effective oil management and regular filtration is the impact it has on the taste and appearance of food. [[page-break]]
"During frying, contaminants, residue and carbonised food taint the oil and discolour it – which has a knock on effect on how the cooked food looks and tastes. Filtration cleans out these contaminants, providing consistent frying results and better cooking performance over a longer period.”
He feels that programming features and fryer controls are becoming more intuitive and advanced all the time. “Whilst it’s still in its early stages, intelligent cooking control could be the next big thing in fryer technology, he predicted.
“These smart systems will enable fryers to adjust cooking temperatures and times automatically to match the load, moisture content and type of food, helping to automate the process, whilst improving the consistency and quality of the food.”
Elsewhere, Redditch-based Florigo provides bespoke fryers for fish and chip shops as well as sites such as Rick Stein’s Cornish Arms, Hakkasan and Chip + Fish in Westfield London, Westfield Stratford and Trinity Leeds.
MD Robert Furey explained: “We consider effective oil management to be a vital part of our clients’ business and our oil filtration systems are included as standard in our fryers.
"Our inbuilt filtration systems allow excellent oil management: the oil is cleaned to such a high standard that no oil is disposed of, rather it is simply topped up.”
The manufacturer builds its Active Triple Filtration system into all its ranges. This mechanically drags the oil through three separate elements: a crumb filter, then a miroil bag, finally being pumped through a filter pad before returning it via a separate return pipe, back to the pan.
“Each filtration system we sell is unique to our company and we believe it stands out in our industry for its efficiency, speed and reliability,” commented Furey. [[page-break]]
“Our latest development in oil filtration is our Filterlogic system and it’s the only fully automated built in filtration system that enables you to filter whilst you fry: it doesn’t drop all the oil in the pan so you’re still able to fry and clean the pan at the same time.”
The system circulates and washes the base of the pan and replaces that oil at a low level. The returning oil is used as a jet to create a vortex across the pan which picks up all the debris and drags it through a filter at operational temperature, then pumps it back in.
“It enables a pan to be filtered up to three times an hour throughout the whole of service, where filtering traditionally has only ever been done at the end of service, maybe once or twice a day,” Furey detailed.
Florigo is seeing more operators highlighting the freshness and quality of their food to their customers. “As range manufacturers this means we always strive to develop our technology to meet today’s needs, so for those customers that regularly include gluten free offerings on their menu, for example, we can include a segregation pan and separate filtration system for these products,” said Furey.
“For customers that fry in natural oil, our filtration system cleans the oil, taking out the impurities quickly and thoroughly enough so the oil doesn’t break down, producing a better quality product.”