Sainsbury’s, crisp maker Tayto and ethnic snack group SK Foods are teaming up with researchers at Teesside University to increase efficiency in fried food production.

“The aim is to reduce oil use and degradation in the manufacture of fried foods, based on two product groups: crisps and snacks; and chilled, fried ethnic snacks,” a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told just-food.

The project aims to “optimise oil management” and “reduce the speed with which oil oxidises to improve product shelf-life”, the spokesperson explained.

The three companies, alongside Teesside University, also want to “reduce waste and potentially open up additional export market opportunities” as well as “improve the frying process efficiency, thereby reducing oil pick-up in products, extending the life of frying oil, and reducing the amount of energy used to heat the products”, the spokesperson added.

Taste panels will be used throughout to assess the potential impact of the project on consumer perceptions of taste.

The research project will run over a period of three years until 2016.