The Cost of Frying Oil
It seems easy to calculate the operating cost of frying just by the unit price of frying oil, actually there are more you need to consider:
Four main factors determining cost of frying oil:
There are also indirect, or one-off cost including the filtration system, labor to operate the system, storage, etc., but the long-term daily cost mainly determined by these four factors.
Unit price of the frying oil affects how much you need to pay initially. It is based on the cost of production, freight, storage, tax and the profit margin, hence good quality oil must come with a reasonable price. For example, extra virgin olive oil must price higher than soybean oil since the cold pressing process costs far more and the production efficiency is low.
Cleaning & Filtration
A good frying oil could be reused for multiple times if it is being taking care of. It means develop cleaning and filtration habit.
Cleaning includes removing the batter left in fryer as soon as possible and using detergent to clean the fryer wall, the heating element, the frying basket and the oil exhaust. It prevents burning the batter and removes the carbon coats on the fryer.
Typical filtration methods include filter bag and filtration machine. Filter bags are commonly made of polyester mesh. They are reusable after cleaning and able to withstand high temperature, so they are good for smaller operations. Filter bags with smaller mesh size (< 45 micron = 0.045mm) can filter out smaller particles, but their mesh could be blocked by food fragments therefore takes more time and care to complete filtration.
Filtration machines suit better in larger kitchens: they are more efficient and less labor intensive as they can perform filtration continuously in hot oil. The filter papers (2 - 25 micron) in the machine can filtered out smaller particles, but they cannot be reused, hence cost more.
The more the good part of oil you recover after filtration, the lower the oil cost in long run, so in this part you would like to keep fryer and the oil clean to extend the fry life of oil.
Wastage & Absorption
No doubt there are oils left in the container, degraded oil carried away during filtration. Good quality, stable oil and a clean fryer help to slow down oil degradation, and less oil will be wasted to reacted with the burning particles.
Good, thin batter, and appropriate temperature reduces oil absorbed into food matrix. Holding the fried food allows excessive oil on food surface drop back to fryer.
Using the correct frying temperature is one of the key to make good fried food. The crust forms slowly under insufficient temperature, more fat is absorbed and the food become greasy. Excessive temperature burns the food surface before the food is cooked throughly. Optimal temperature ranges from 160-190°C. In this part is you would like to reduce the oil wasted undesirably.
The basic fry life of oil really about the chemistry and production quality of oil. Chemistry of oil could be another chapter of story, but simply speaking, the most chemically stable component of an oil is the saturated fats, followed by the monounsaturated fats, the less stable part is polyunsaturated fats. More stable means it has higher resistant to oxidation, so it can work longer before degraded.
However, high *(long chain) saturated fats in diet increases risk of cardiovascaular diseases, hence a more nutritionally balanced choice would be oil with mainly monounsaturated fats, low polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Natural antioxidants such as vitamin E also help to slow down degradation.
Good oil manufacturers, suppliers and shops handle oil with care. by keeping the oil under correct condition: avoid sunlight, temperature fluctuation and oxygen, oil rancidity could be prevented.
The extended fry life is the result of your effort to manage your oil: Good cleaning habit and filtration, reduced wastage.
Put your money in good use, do buy good quality frying oil that lasts longer (longer basic fry life) and waste less. The overall cost could be lower once you can manage oil well.
What about Enjoi oils？
Enjoi High Oleic Sunflower Oil provides Long fry life, and Good fats proportions (high monounsaturated fats 80%+, low polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats).
We also provide Enjoi HACCP Frying Oil solution, an one-stop solution for commercial kitchen, provide professional consultation in reducing cost and improving food quality.
Click here to download an example of cost analysis between Palm oil and High Oleic Sunflower Oil.