Is air really the new oil? Lightfry CEO Henrik Önnermark surely thinks so, as he and his company Eatgood are on a mission to bring their commercial air fryers to restaurant and commercial kitchens in the US and across the world.
The vision behind Eatgood Swe-den AB, the company that produces the Lightfry, was envisioned in 1980’s under the hypothesis that food could be fried with hot air, steam, and rotation instead of oil. After years of testing, LightFry came to market in 2006, after the product won an invention contest in Önnermark’s native city of Borås for its strong market potential. The team naturally began testing with French fries, but over time they have discovered countless use cases, due to the Lightfry’s ability to air fry, roast, grill, and steam cook.
“We found that by removing oil [from the frying process] that flavors were significantly more intense.” — Henrik Önnermark
With an initial goal of creating healthier fare, Önnermark and his Lightfry team were surprised to discover that the technology actually created an unmatched flavor profile. Testing found that air frying foods such as French fries actually added to the food’s taste.
Önnermark explained, “Oil kills the flavor from the spices – we found that by removing oil that flavors were significantly more intense.” And removing oil from the equation makes the food much healthier as well, since air fried foods contain 40-60% less fat than their oil fried alternatives. Without all the oil, air-fried foods can stay fresher longer, which has never been as important as in the socially distant era. Önnermark has found that these benefits make the product a particularly strong selling point for food service providers in health-conscious areas such as California and New York.
In addition to the health and taste benefits, switching to Lightfry has had a dramatic impact on a food service provider’s bottom line. The air frying technology can provide significant cost savings because the restaurant or institution does not need to worry about replenishing oil supplies. “Oil is getting more and more expensive and the cost of handling it before and after using it is expensive,” Önnermark remarked.
Many chefs and culinary professionals have also found that the use of Lightfry technology has eliminated the problem of flavor being off as a result of the overuse of oil, traditional gas and electric fryers. Lightfry has also proven to have a positive impact on the safety of working environments in commercial kitchens. Air frying and Light-fry has eliminated the risk of burns from working with hot oil. In addition, the Lightfry does not need any recovery time between batches, un-like its oil frying counterparts, and requires less energy to operate.
Interestingly, Önnermark has ob-served that the Lightfry does not necessarily replace a kitchen’s traditional fryer. Rather, the Lightfry often serves as an alternative which allows the restaurant to provide healthier options for its customers. For instance, a pizza restaurant that lacks healthy options can cost effectively create menu solutions with Lightfry without needing to sacrifice space within the kitchen.
That same Lightfry versatility has enabled many C-Stores, coffee shops and nontraditional outlets to now offer a functional and flavorful menu of fried items without the expense of a traditional frying setup. Önnermark also noted that the fryer works particularly well as the centerpiece in the production of a children’s menu.
Lightfry units are priced to be competitive with the traditional small tabletop fryer. However, with the unit’s versatility and low running costs, Lightfry offers far more value. Pricing varies depending on volume and location. To get a quote, Önnermark suggests emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or their US-based sales rep team: Keith Raymond. “We welcome the opportunity to set up a demo in your kitchen of the Lightfry line,” Önnermark concluded.