Why Fried Food is Unhealthy: Heat Induced Food Toxicants and Associated Health Risks

Fikiru Dasa and Tilahun Abera


Review I Published May,2019


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 5 (3), pp.32-41.



Frying is a widespread process used in food preparation and manufacturing as reflected in a large spectrum of products. Fried foods such as potato chips, French fries, expanded snacks, roasted nuts, extruded noodles, doughnuts and fried fish and chicken have gained worldwide popularity due to their unique organoleptic characteristics like distinctive flavour, aroma, appearance, and crunchy texture. During frying, as several physical and chemical changes occur in foods that impart desirable characteristics, heat induced food toxicants such as acrylamide, hydroxymethylfurfural,heterocyclic amine, nitrosamines and polyaromatic hydrocarbons could also be produced. However, these toxicants and the oil used for frying can cause non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, overweight obesity and hypertension. Diet and nutrition play a key role in the promotion and maintenance of good health. Therefore, use of antioxidants, frying time and temperature control, recipe optimization, use of saturated oil, and vacuum frying are some of the techniques used to reduce the formation of heat generated food toxicants. In addition, increasing consumer awareness of the relationship between nutrition and health and fried food consumption is also crucial.

KeyWords: Frying, Fried food, Thermal degradation, Heat-induced food toxicants, Health effects.


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