The effects of various gum types [hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), guar gum, xanthan gum, gum arabic] on the quality of deep-fat fried chicken nuggets were studied. Chicken samples, 0.04 m in diameter and 0.015 m in thickness taken from the breast portion, were coated with batters composed of a 3:5 solid to water ratio by immersion. The solid content of batter formulations contained equal amounts of corn and wheat flours, 1.0% gum, 1.0% salt and 0.5% leavening agent. As control, batter without gum addition was used. Samples were fried at 180 degrees C for 3, 6, 9 and 12 min. The hardness and oil content of the chicken nuggets increased whereas the moisture content decreased during frying. HPMC and xanthan gums reduced oil absorption significantly compared with other gums and the control. When gum arabic was added to the batter formulation, a product with the highest oil content and porosity was obtained. (c) 2005 Society of Chemical Industry.