Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) have learned to fry food in space. In a new study, they have found that frying works even in the microgravity experienced in space.
Experimenting with frying food in space for a while, the ESA scientists recently conducted a study in microgravity conditions at a height of 2,000 feet to test if potatoes can be fried in space where there is no gravity to create buoyancy. During the experiment, they found that vapour bubbles still formed on the potatoes’ surface, allowing the hot oil to fry them.
The scientists have clarified that without buoyancy, the bubbles would not be drawn upward and hold on to the surface of the potato. As a result, the potato would be undercooked and “undesirable” and a film of steam would form around it.
Once the technology is completely developed, astronauts may eat like people on Earth do, including fried foods. Besides nutrition and comfort, studying the process of frying in space could also lead to advancements in various fields, from traditional boiling to producing hydrogen from solar energy in microgravity, believe the researchers.
The research is documented in a paper published in the journal Food Research International.