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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

While I’m going to keep right on eating french fries despite their alleged health risks, I feel it my duty to keep the more health conscious reader(s) abreast of the latest research on the healthification of french fries. I’ve posted about acrylamide in fries before, you may remember it from such posts as:
Acrylamide…delicious but deadly.
and
Mmmm…Sciencey

Well the latest research, by a Chinese team, has shown that…

Soaking potato pieces in a bamboo extract prior to cooking can limit the development of acrylamide—a potential carcinogen—in french fries.

That’s all well and good, but I think Confucius was onto something when he said ‘Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without’ and…’man who go to bed with itchy butt wake up with smelly fingers‘.

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Mmmm…Pectolytic

homer-smart.gifEnzymes improve quality of French fries, says study

Using pectolytic and hemicellulytic enzymes to change the microstructure of potato cells in French fries improves the quality of the finished product, suggests research from Novozymes.

Writing in the Elsevier journal Food Chemistry, Lisinska and co-workers report: “The results obtained in the study show that pectolytic and hemicellulytic activities of enzymes used for French fries production improve the quality of the finished product, especially fat content, after the first and the second stage of frying, which was 10-20 per cent lower in treated than in untreated French fries.”

Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the researchers report that the enzymes worked by destroying the cell wall of the potato cells.

“Destruction of the cell structure caused by enzymes suppressed penetration of fat into the internal portion of French fries, immediately after they had been taken out of the frying oil,” they said.

I’ll digest my fries myself, thank you very much.

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In the News

Like McDonald’s Fries?

Trans fats got you down?

Can’t sleep?

Rest easy friends, because….

McDonald’s Picks New Trans Fat-Free Oil for French Fries
Spokesman Walt Riker said after years of testing, the fast-food giant has finally selected a new trans fat-free oil for its famous fries. McDonald’s said the new oil is a canola-based and includes a mix of corn and soy oils.

Riker said it has gotten good reviews in extensive testing and is now being used in more than 1,200 U.S. restaurants.

However, he hasn’t said when the healthier oil will be used in all of the company’s more than 13,000 restaurants in the U.S.

…and there was much rejoicing.

What a fantastic load of bullshit…yes, I’m sure McDonald’s has spent ‘years’ trying to find a healthier cooking oil. How long does it take to bow to the pressure from the media and consumers to use a healthier oil that probably already existed?  Probably just long enough for them to figure out how to integrate the oil in the cheapest way possible and still look like they have our best interests at heart.

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Seems that my shameless attempt to get hits (ie Fry Babe of the Week) has resulted in one raised eyebrow…

From, oddly enough, an SVB Financial Group Newsletter:

Earlier this year, when German supermodel Heidi Klum began a search for Germany’s next top model, people were outraged that models with BMIs below 17 were rejected as too fat. Of course, perhaps this anger merely underscores the difference between aspiring models and a true supermodel — and the problem we’ve created as a society. The deep-fried blog “Lord of the Fries” recently anointed a french-fry-wielding Klum as a “Fry Babe of the Week.” So, where does this leave us? Nutritionists know that these models are so unnaturally thin that they risk infertility, osteoporosis and, ultimately, kidney damage. How do they know? They study women in famine-blighted areas of the Third World. I often wonder what people would think if a modern fashion magazine were to fall out of the sky in, say, Darfur? Would the chronically malnourished residents find some affinity with these rich and glamorous women who are also slowly starving to death?

“Anointed”…I like that….sorry, I’m drunk with power…okay, okay, I’m just drunk.

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From Stats. Canada: In 2005 the average Canadian consumed 6.4 kg (14.1 lbs) of french fries, approximately 40% of their total potato intake.

So, considering that a large fry at McDonald’s is 170 g, you could say that the average Canadian ate 37.6 large fries in 2005.

Come on…we can do better.

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Turkish team Delighted over recent study results:

The discovery of acrylamide – a possible carcinogenic in humans — has led to much research being done to investigate the benefits of alternative cooking methods. Acrylamide forms during processes such as frying, baking and roasting where high-temperature and low-moisture conditions exist.

Although numerous studies have been conducted to explore the possibilities of reducing acrylamide levels in French fries, a team of researchers from Turkey has shown that by reducing the frying time and hence the acrylamide formation by microwave pre-cooking of potato strips prior to frying.

I’ve tried this, and while I can’t comment on any noticeable reduction in my acrylamide intake, it does cut down on the overall baking/frying time.

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