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Friday, July 6, 2012

appeal to taste buds - fried items - rice bran oil

As you go to pantry, the item most sought after is the ‘fried one’ – may be chips, pappads or other items, deep fried.  Anything floating in oil appeals to the taste buds [though most jump to say that they are not good for health !] – in the simplest of cooking process, the method of submerging the food in hot fat, be it in any vegetable oil, or ghee or dalda [so popular earlier and not heard these days at all]. For some, food items, however tasty or well made they be, will not roll down in the mouth unless you have some fried items as accompaniments.  

In deep frying, no water is used and when cooked in high temperature, the high heat conduction of oil cooks food extremely quickly.  When in expert’s hands,  deep-frying does not make food excessively greasy, because the moisture in the food repels the oil. The hot oil heats the water within the food, steaming it from the inside out; the correct frying temperature depends on the thickness and type of food, but in most cases it lies between 175 and 190 °C (345–375 °F).

In some houses they use coconut oil – but mostly done with groundnut oil.  In the last week of last month [June 12] the increased availability of groundnut for crushing and a fall in the export demand for peanuts, groundnut oil prices  witnessed a fall of about Rs 50 per tin (15 kg). According to millers and traders, lower demand would further cause a slide in groundnut oil prices over the coming days.

As in the case of dalda, another oil which was popular a couple of decades ago, which was imported and distributed through ration ships was – Palm oil.   The oil reddish in color because of a high beta-carotene content,  alongside  coconut oil is one of the few highly saturatedvegetable fats.  Now with the increased stress on healthy way of cooking, people are using more of refined oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, mustard oil and coconut oil in some regions.  
Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. Safflower is another oil used now a days and found in many supermarket shelves.

The best oil for deep frying is any oil that has a high smoke point. Oils such as peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil naturally fall in this category.  On a casual talk with a caterer, learnt that they use - ….brand of Rice bran oil !

Have seen many solvent extraction plants in existence in Godavari district, where from rice, bran oil was extracted and the de-oiled rice cakes were also exported.   Rice bran oil (also known as rice bran extract) is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is notable for its high smoke point of 213 °C (415 °F) and its mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying. The germ of a cereal is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant; Germ is rich in polyunsaturated fats (which have a tendency to oxidize and become rancid on storage) and so germ removal improves the storage qualities of flour.  Rice bran oil reportedly has the antioxidant γ-oryzanol, at around 2% of crude oil content.  It is claimed that rice bran oil and its active constituents improve blood cholesterol by reducing total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride , and increasing the proportion of HDL cholesterol.  

Footnote :  not in any way authentic or expert opinion – just info. Sharing.  This need not alter the quantity of intake of fried items either in our own pantry or outside.

Incidentally Dalda is a brand and its story is traced to 1930s when Hindustan Vanaspati Mft Co [present day HLL] – started manufacturing the hydrogenated vegetable oil, which had hitherto been imported by a Dutch Co – Dada & Co.  Some versions have it that to establish the brand HLL introduced ‘L’ [for Lever] into Dada, making it Dalda, later synonymous with Dalda…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
PS :  expect more comments / feedback on this article.

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