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Effects of different batter formulations on physical and chemical properties of microwave and conventionally fried chicken fingers

Barutçu Mazı, Işıl
The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of batters containing various flour types and frying methods on physical and chemical properties of chicken fingers. To determine the effects of different flour types, 30 % of the corn and wheat flour mix in control batter was replaced with chickpea, rice or soy flours. Frying was performed in microwave oven at 365 W (70 %) power level and at 1801°C for different times. Samples were also fried in a conventional fryer at 1801°C for comparison. The properties that were measured were coating pick-up and moisture content, oil content, color, hardness, porosity and acrylamide content of fried samples. In addition, microstructural analysis of batters and temperature distribution of fried samples during cooling were performed. Moisture content of chicken fingers decreased whereas the darkness, porosity and hardness of samples increased with increasing microwave frying time. Using microwaves decreased frying time by 70 %. Samples fried for 1.5 min using microwave provided similar moisture and oil contents in the coating part as compared to conventionally fried ones for 5min. However, the chicken part of microwave fried sample had lower moisture content. Lighter colored samples with higher porosity and lower hardness values were obtained with microwave frying. In microwave frying, soy flour addition to batter formulation decreased the moisture loss and oil absorption as compared to control by 19.3% and 20.7%, respectively. The lowest hardness, the highest porosity and oil content were obtained with the addition of chickpea flour. Flour type was not found to be effective on acrylamide content. Microwave frying provided lower acrylamide content as compared to those fried conventionally for all types of flours. The reduction in acrylamide level was the highest (34.5%) for rice flour containing batter. Color parameters of chicken fingers were not found to be a reliable indicator of acrylamide levels. Different types of frying method and flours used in batter formulation resulted in differences in the microstructure of fried batter. Variations in internal temperature distribution during cooling increased with frying time in both microwave and conventional frying. The sample fried in microwave oven for 1.5 min had a more nonuniform temperature distribution.