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Agricultural Research Service

Infrared-Based Peeling of Tomatoes May Improve Precision, Save Water

Peeled tomatoes make a tasty, versatile and time-saving ingredient for hearty winter stews, homemade soups or classic casseroles. In experiments with more than 6,000 field-ripened Roma-style (sometimes called “plum”) tomatoes, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Zhongli Pan and his industry and university colleagues have shown that using infrared heating to simplify removal of the tomatoes’ tight-fitting peels may offer advantages over other peeling technologies.

French Fries' Oil Content: It's Lower with Infrared Heat

French fries typically soak up a lot of oil while they're in the deep-fat fryer. But U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Zhongli Pan and his colleagues have shown that prepping the raw fries for three minutes with infrared (IR) heat, before the fries are dunked in the fryer, can reduce oil uptake by about one-third, as compared to raw fries not treated with IR.