A characteristic of edible oil may be evaluated using a spectrometer. For example, optical reflectance data may be obtained from edible oil in situ in a frying apparatus housing the edible oil, the reflectance data corresponding to a specified range of infra-red wavelengths. A model profile corresponding to the characteristic being assessed may be obtained, such as from a repository housing a secured library of such profiles. The model profile may define a regression vector for use in transforming the reflectance data to generate a value corresponding to the characteristic being assessed. A criterion may be applied to the value to establish a simplified representation of the characteristic for presentation to a user for assessment of oil quality.

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