European Space Agency (ESA) cut potatoes into thin sticks and then deep fried them in extra-virgin olive oil, one side at a time, in a spinning centrifuge - creating conditions of up to nine times Earth’s gravity.
They found that the higher gravity levels significantly upped the heat transfer between the hot oil and the potato, which shortened frying time and resulted in thick, crispy crusts.
In fact, the scientists may have found ideal gravitational condition for making fries: The crust reached its max thickness when potatoes were fried at three times the Earth’s gravity.
However, the fries’ bottoms remained insulated from the oil by a layer of water vapor rushing out of its pores, which resulted in a soggy-bottomed fry.
The study is set to be published in Food Research International.