- Crisp Sensation has developed ZeroFry, a crispy coating that reduces fat by 50% compared to other fried snacks and doesn't require pre-frying or deep-frying. Products coated with ZeroFry can be prepared in an oven or air fryer.
- The company said its coating innovation works for health-conscious consumers who like crispy, crumb-coated snacks and appreciate taste and convenience, but who don't want the extra calories that often accompany them.
- "Snacking is an emerging global trend, so there is a real need to make snack products healthier without compromising on taste and texture," Christien van Beusekom, Crisp Sensation's chief technical officer, said in a release. "With ZeroFry, we also tackle the issue of acrylamide in fried products by offering safe alternatives. With this safe and tasty solution, snack manufacturers around the globe can easily adjust their range to modern nutrition needs."
Crisp Sensation is touting several popular trends with this new coating system — crispy snacks that offer satisfying taste, texture and convenience as well as lower fat and calories. The company also touts ZeroFry as lasting longer and providing a crispy bite with a juicy core that doesn't dry out.
As the company's chief technical officer noted, reducing the acrylamide problem in fried foods is another possible advantage of this new product. Acrylamide is known as a probable human carcinogen that can naturally form in certain foods when they are cooked or fried at high temperatures.
For manufacturers, cost and space savings may be attached to this new product since deep fryers aren't needed. The coating can be used on the same production line as an oil sprayer, Crisp Sensation said. Such applications are safer than deep-frying and can reduce oil, energy and cleaning expenses, the company added. But while it may deliver many of these benefits to consumers, the real test may be in how products that use Crisp Sensation taste and feel when they chew it. Some people may be unwilling to forgo the juicy, fatty flavor that comes from their favorite deep-fried chicken.
Busy consumers increasingly want convenience, but they also want better-for-you foods with interesting tastes and textures. This is true particularly when it comes to millennials and Generation Z — the demographics driving much of today's growth in snacks and the consumers that would likely be interested in this coating.
According to Bakery and Snacks, conventionally cooked crispy snacks contain much more fat than those prepared with ZeroFry. A 100-gram serving of pre-fried and deep-fried chicken nuggets has 12.7 grams of fat and more than 1 gram of saturated fat. The same amount of chicken nuggets made with ZeroFry has 4.4 grams of fat and 0.5 gram of saturated fat and contains 181 calories — 27% fewer than the standard fried product, the publication reported.
Food manufacturers using coatings in their products — including deep-fried snacks like chicken nuggets, onion rings and mozzarella sticks — might want to use this innovation in order to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Snack makers with products available in convenience stores, kiosks or food trucks might also take advantage of it because Crisp Sensation recently filed a patent for the coating system so frozen items can be microwaved and quickly ready to eat.
Other ingredient companies have seen growth potential in coatings since crispy, crunchy texture appeals to many consumers. Ingredion CEO Jim Zallie recently told Food Dive that with more people eating away from home — plus the demand for fewer ingredients, more plant-based items, less sugar and sustainability — his company sees promise in maintaining product appearance and texture.
Texture, including crispy and crunchy options, has become a huge category. It comprises about 25% of the food ingredients industry and is valued at nearly $41 billion, according to Ingredion. Since the top trends today range from fewer calories and less fat to increased taste, texture, flavor and convenience — Crisp Sensation appears to be smartly positioned to take advantage of them.