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I recently tried some vacuum fried banana chips and pineapple chips from Trade Joe's. They were delicious. Does anyone know why this process helps the food retain and even concentrate the flavors? According to the article, since the frying environment is under a vacuum, this allows food to reach a fried state at ~130 C (normal atmospheric frying is ~170 C).

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Because you are frying at a lower temperature, the food is closer to it's natural state (no browning) and is less cooked. That coupled with the significant drop in moisture, you are concentrating the flavor of the food (just like syrup, only with solid food). It's also typically done with food that is more susceptable to burning, foods with higher sugar contents, so you are often left with a sweeter product.

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Vacuum fried foods reduce the amount of oxidation (which causes browning in fruit and other foods). This process also reduces the amount of water in the food when frying which will concentrate the flavors.

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