Unifrit: Sustainable frying

Surely, nobody thinks about climate protection whilst enjoying a delicious portion of chips? Yet cooking oils for deep-fat frying are mass-produced and are, unfortunately, often obtained from rather unsustainable sources. Not only has the company Unifrit UG developed a sustainable and climate-friendly frying oil, but together with Kronsland GmbH, it can also collect the used oil from restaurants. This used oil is then fully recycled – the container, too.

Ten years ago, the Unifrit company from Bochum developed an innovative frying oil. Together with food chemists and research institutions, it succeeded in producing a liquid frying oil that can be used for 50 hours. Traditional fats, however, often only last for 25 hours. Frying oils oxidise after prolonged use, the molecules break down or react with each other so that the fat becomes rancid and unfit for human consumption. With the “Unifrit extra” oil, this process is slowed down. This saves resources and CO2 emissions, due to reduced production and less harvesting of raw materials. The production process also does not use any palm oil or genetically modified seeds, just oilseeds from Europe – and it is carried out entirely in Germany. Nor is the antifoaming agent E900 (polydimethylsiloxane) added to the product.

Engine for progress:

  • Reduced consumption of resources due to the longer useful life of the frying oils
  • Energy savings as a result of lower cooking temperatures
  • Sustainable and regional production
  • Social engagement in the local area and in the Third World

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Unifrit UG

The frying oil “Unifrit extra” has been specially designed. Its useful life is twice as long as that of a conventional frying oil.

Take-back system guarantees recycling

Good frying results are achieved at 165 degrees Celsius. Usually, temperatures of 170 to 175 degrees Celsius are required. Together with the oil’s longer useful life, this saves time and energy. In collaboration with Kronsland GmbH, Unifrit has also developed a trade-in system: the used oil is collected free of charge in exchange for a discount on the new delivery and is then either converted into biodiesel or sent to a power plant to be used as a heating fuel. The plastic jerry can in which the oil is supplied is also recycled. The containers, once emptied of their contents, are supplied to the plastics industry.

€400 saving per fryer

Unifrit now offers its customers (currently 7,500 across Germany) consultations, training in frying and hygiene and even customised oil-care and cleaning plans – training is actually free of charge for trade-in customers. After all, handling the oils properly increases their useful life even further. Moreover, up to €400 can be saved per fryer by frying properly. Unifrit won silver at the Superior Taste Award in 2010, 2011 and 2015. Together, the two partners were selected as “GründerChampion NRW” (NRW start-up champions) in 2006 for their trade-in business model. But Managing Director René Frauenkron is still thinking ahead: this is why Unifrit participates in social projects, such as Dortmund’s Ökotable and the “Kindergarten Wattenscheid Gambia” project, which makes it possible for children in Gambia to attend a local school and access medical care.

Photo: Unifrit UG

“Frying with benefits: with our award-winning frying oils and our waste management concept, we are demonstrating that sustainability is feasible and compatible with the environment and the economy.”

René Frauenkron, Managing Director of Unifrit UG

Partners and sponsors

  • Unifrit UG
  • Kronsland GmbH