Interview with Nadina Müller, ZHAW, Project Manager
What is the intention of the project and in which phase was the project before you sought the support of Swiss Food Research?
The industrial partner (Gastrofrit, a Swiss deep fryer manufacturer) wanted to develop a deep fryer for the catering industry that no longer produces waste oil. No chemical additives were allowed to be used, i.e. purely physical measures such as oxidation protection, filtration or crystallization, together with natural oil renewal, were to ensure that no more frying oil had to be disposed of. Gastrofrit approached the ZHAW with this idea.
What motivated you (or the project team) to seek support from InnoSuisse and Swiss Food Research?
The research effort for such a project is high. Only by financing InnoSuisse (formerly CTI) Gastrofrit as an SME was able to finance this research work. Swiss Food Research provided support, in particular for the implementation of the ideas in concrete formulations of the application as well as the correct structure of the research project and the necessary work packages with the cost estimates.
Which research questions and with which partners (research institutes, industry, others) were answered?
The most important question was: How can the spoilage reaction of the deep-frying oil at the prevailing high temperatures be kept at an acceptable, low level with purely physical processes and automated methods? Once these methods have been found, they must be able to be implemented in a commercial deep fryer and sustainably used in the tough daily routine of catering kitchens.
The research partner is the ILGI, Institute for Food and Drink Innovation of the ZHAW in Wädenswil, industrial partner, on the one hand Gastrofrit, with the task of integrating the process to be developed into the deep fryer, and on the other hand the SV-Group as one of the largest Swiss catering companies to test the deep fryer in practice.
What has the support achieved and what further development/what use is planned?
The support has led to a correct and convincing application. Above all, strong support and motivation were provided for a second submission to continue the project. A third prototype for "field trials" is currently under construction. It will be used at the InnoSuisse partner, SV-Group Switzerland in a highly frequented community catering location.
At the same time, a patent is being sought. The main goal for the industrial partner is to open up new international markets for system catering and thus to offer fry-heavy productions sustainability through regenerated oil. The newly developed component will be integrated into an existing Gastrofrit frying station (Modell OLFO).