Fried bacon

Scientists have made the startling discovery that cooking your favourite fry-up could be endangering the planet.

The news will come as a shock for lovers of sausages, stir-fries and bacon, with concern raised about the hot oils that these products are sending into the air when are cooked.

Researchers from the Texas Tech and Utah State universities found that when these fatty items are cooked, the hot oils used in the frying process send droplets of fat into the air that can be dangerous when breathed in.

Testing their theories, scientist heated pans of oil and recorded how they evaporated into the air after water was added to them.

As the particles moved into the air, small oil explosions were sent around the room. In areas without sufficient ventilation, a build-up of these droplets were deemed to be dangerous.

Speaking to the Mail, assistant professor Jeremy Marston from Texas Tech said: "Regardless of culinary skills, most people who have used a stove top have encountered the result of water interacting with hot oil.

"We've discovered that a very large number of small oil droplets are released when even a single, small droplet of water comes into contact with hot oil."

During the tests, it was found that foods with higher levels of water were more dangerous, such as chicken and vegetables, which hold high amounts of liquid when being fried.

Professor Marston said: "It's known that millions of deaths worldwide occur due to indoor air pollution, but we don't know yet how much cooking in poorly ventilated kitchens contributes to it."