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     Hydroxy Propyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC)
    Adding the hydrocolloid HPMC to a batter can reduce the uptake of oil during frying and enhance the ‘crunch’ on eating the crispy crust, says new data from Europe.
    Scientists from TI Food and Nutrition, Spain’s CSIC, and TNO Quality of Life examined the effects of different type of cellulose-based hydrocolloids (cellulose ethers, methyl cellulose and HPMC - with different ratios of methoxyl to hydroxypropyl substitution - and carboxy methyl cellulose) and found that a specific form of hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose performed best in deep fried products, by reducing the oil content and a more intense crunch.
    Writing in Food Hydrocolloids, the researchers note that the results confirmed their hypothesis that “cellulose ether reaching the best balance in terms of lower moisture holding and lower oil uptake would be the most suitable for use in the formulation of deep-fried products where crispness is a key factor for consumer preference”.
    While this is not the first time that food scientists have used cellulose derivatives in the batter of fried foods, the researchers state that they have simplified the investigation by using a deep-fried crust model system which controls the thickness of the batter before frying.