Sep 142011

The radiant fryer fries food without using additional oil

A Purdue University scientist will appear on a Food Network show tonight to demonstrate an invention that can fry food without the oil vat.

Kevin Keener, professor of food science, will be featured on a new show, “Crave.” The episode titled “Fried Chicken: Deep Fried Love in a Bucket” will air at 8:30 tonight.

On the show, Keener discusses the science of frying foods and demonstrates his radiant fryer that he developed with a professor at North Carolina State University.

The radiant fryer fries food without using additional oil, cutting fat and calories while producing a product that tastes and looks the same as products cooked in traditional oil baths. The radiant energy can be fine-tuned for each product to cook it precisely.

The device is meant to be used to prepare preformed, par-cooked foods such as chicken nuggets, hash browns and french fries.

The J&C talked to Keener about his appearance on the show, and the future of the radiant fryer.

Question: When did you start working on the radiant fryer and what originally gave you the idea?

Answer: About 2004 is when some of the original ideas came about. It’s been around a while. There were three primary reasons or benefits behind (creating) an alternative to oil immersion frying — reducing the amount of oil and calories, reducing the health hazards of having hot oil fryers around and reducing all of the waste oil.

Fundamentally, there are only a few ways to produce a fried-like effect. You can’t use an oven because you have to be able to put in more energy faster. (The Radiant Fryer) allows you to deliver energy to food very quickly.

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