Application of Edible Coatings in Maintaining Crispness of Breaded Fried Foods


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Virginia Tech


Crispness is one of the most desirable textural characteristics of breaded fried foods. Consumers often judge the quality of breaded fried foods based on the perceived crispness of the product. Furthermore, today's consumers are showing increasing concern over fat intake. As a result, there is great interest in being able to enhance the crispness and reduce the fat uptake in breaded fried foods without sacrificing other quality attributes. To achieve these goals, modifications to both frying equipment and product formulation have been explored in this study.

In this study, two edible film coatings, methylcellulose (MC) and whey protein isolate (WPI) were incorporated into the batter and pre-dust to determine their effect on the crispness of breaded fried chicken nuggets held under a heat lamp for varying time intervals. Crispness was evaluated by both objective (ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation system) and subjective methods. An untrained sensory panel was used to obtain subjective measurements of product crispness. Panelists rated product attributes such as crispness, juiciness, oiliness and flavor on a simple intensity scale. Additionally, panelists rated the liking of the products on a nine-point hedonic scale (1=dislike extremely, 9=like extremely). Two pressure sources (nitrogen gas and steam naturally released from the food material) were used to determine their effects on product crispness, texture, pressed juice, moisture content, fat content and color.

Products fried with nitrogen gas as the pressurizing medium produced samples that were comparable to or exceeding the quality of products generated by frying with steam, as it relates to product crispness, texture, pressed juice, moisture content, fat content and color. As related to objective crispness, chicken nuggets fried with nitrogen were significantly crispier (p<0.05) than those fried with steam. Coating type and application also had a significant effect on product crispness. Samples coated with MC in the pre-dust were crispier than samples coated with WPI. However, no significant differences were found in product crispness, juiciness, oiliness or flavor, and overall liking among samples tested by the sensory panel.

The results of this study demonstrated that applying an edible film coating to the pre-dust and using nitrogen gas as the pressurizing medium can enhance and maintain the crispness of breaded fried foods.



methylcellulose, chicken nuggets, whey protein isolate, nitrogen gas, pressure frying, edible coatings, crispness, ultrasonic velocity