Research, design, fabrication, and testing of a controlled dynamic radiant frying oven for par-fried foods for the fast food industry

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2008-00285
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1735 W 53RD ST, Anderson, IN, 46013
DUNS: 006415079
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gene Della Valle
 Senior Controls Engineer
 (765) 643-6691
Business Contact
 Ted Fiock
Title: President
Phone: (765) 643-6691
Research Institution
"Situation or Problem" Immersion frying is a popular food preparation method. U.S. Consumers enjoy billions of pounds of low cost and taste appealing fried foods annually. Sensorial properties include golden color, crunchy crust, tender-moist core, and pleasing flavors. Unfortunately, immersion-fried foods have high caloric content due to their high oil content and are considered to have a negative impact upon consumer health through obesity and other related problems. Other issues include oil disposal, caustic equipment cleaning agents, and large number of accidents associated with immersion fryers. There are over 750,000 units in operation in the U.S. An alternative immersion frying process would be beneficial to consumers and producers alike. Recently a controlled, dynamic radiant frying process (CDR) using infrared energy was developed and a patent is pending. This process can: 1) finish fry several immersion fried foods (French fries, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, vegetables, etc.) with equal sensorial properties but 25-40% less calories; 2) produce unique food products, for example a hot center pastry, by adjusting the radiant energy profile; 3) lead to the development of a compact high-efficiency, non-oil fryer for convenience stores for on-the-go foods; and 4) stimulate the introduction of reduced fat low-caloric versions of existing snack foods. This technology lacks the research effort to match this process with an applicable oven design. The objective of this project is to continue CDR research by investigating oven technologies compatible with the CDR process. "Purpose" ATE anticipates being able to design and build a CDR compatible oven with testing to verify its suitability for fast food industry use. This oven will further demonstrate the CDR technology to potential client companies; many of which have expressed interest. ATE will utilize the knowledge from this project to enter into a phase II SBIR proposal for the development of prototype ovens for food industry clients. The benefits to society and the citizens of the United States are potentially great if this technology can bring lower fat and lower caloric food types assisting our general public with efforts to control obesity and obesity related health issues. Side benefits include similar investment cost by current immersion fryer users, lower energy usage, and safer systems for users and operators of the technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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