Frozen potato chips are highly convenient to use. Many grocery stores have a complete section dedicated to potatoes and frozen potato products. Chilled glass display cabinets are generally loaded with frozen potato chips, tater tots, hash browns, and curly fries. The freezers are usually filled with a variety of frozen potato chips having different sizes, shapes, and flavors.
rozen potato chips have a highly tempting look and great taste because more nutrition is kept during their production.
Potato chips (often just chips), or crisps (in British and Irish English), are thin slices of potato that have been either deep fried or baked until crunchy. They are commonly served as a snack, side dish, or appetizer. The basic chips are cooked and salted; additional varieties are manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including herbs, spices, cheeses, other natural flavors, artificial flavors, and additives. Potato chips form a large part of the snack food and convenience food market in Western countries. The global potato chip market generated total revenue of US$16.49 billion in 2005. This accounted for 35.5% of the total savory snacks market in that year ($46.1 billion).
Most potato chips contain high levels of sodium, from salt. This has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure. However, researchers at Queen Mary University of London in 2004 have noted that a small “bag of ready-salted crisps” contains less salt than a serving of many breakfast cereals, including “every brand of cornflakes on sale in the UK.”
Some potato chip companies have responded to the long-standing concerns by investing in research and development to modify existing recipes and create health-conscious products. PepsiCo research shows that about 80% of salt on chips is not sensed by the tongue before being swallowed. Frito-Lay spent $414 million in 2009 on product development, including development of salt crystals that would reduce the salt content of Lay’s potato chips without adversely affecting flavor.
Unsalted chips are available, e.g. the longstanding British brand Salt ‘n’ Shake, whose chips are not seasoned, but instead include a small salt sachet in the bag for seasoning to taste. Many other popular brands in the United States, such as Frito-Lay, also offer such a product.
Another possible health concern related to potato chips is acrylamide, which is produced when potatoes are fried or baked at high temperatures. Studies show that laboratory animals exposed to high levels of acrylamide develop cancer; however, it is currently unclear whether a similar risk exists in humans. In August 2008, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced a settlement with Frito-Lay, Kettle Foods, and Lance Inc. the makers of Cape Cod Potato Chips for violating the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The state had alleged in 2005 that potato chips from these companies failed to document that they contained high levels of acrylamide, which is listed by California since the 1990s as a carcinogen. These companies paid fines and agreed to reduce acrylamide levels to be under 275 parts per billion. Many potato chip manufacturers attempt to remove burned and thus potentially acrylamide-rich chips before the packaging process. Large scanners are used to eliminate chips worst affected by heat.
Good quality frozen potato chips are golden brown in color, soft from inside and crispy from outside. The appealing color of fries is primarily due to proper blanching and frying. Mostly, the supermarkets have their separate unit where the fresh vegetables are processed, frozen, and then transferred to the display cabinets. To prepare and store frozen potato chips at supermarkets, potatoes are gone through the following five steps:
Step 1: Washing, Peeling, and Cutting the Potatoes
Start by properly washing and cleaning the potatoes and then remove their skin. Besides, remove the eyes on potatoes if any. Then cut the potatoes lengthwise into long strips with a sharp knife. Potato strips are usually not of the same size when using a knife for cutting them. Some of them will be thicker and some of them will be shorter. However, the grocery stores use different tools to evenly cut the potato strips.
Consequently, the potato strips will be of the same size and shape. Moreover, the tools used to make potato strips also adjust their uniform thickness.
Step 2: Blanching the Potatoes
After uniform cutting, potatoes are blanched. As a result of blanching, the softness of potato strips increases and they get a uniform color too. Moreover, this process assists in reducing the sugar content on the external surface of potato strips that yields brown color during frying.
Step 3: Drying the Blanched Potato Strips
Now frying is done to eliminate the extra moisture of potato strips. Place the strips on tissue paper or paper towel to dry them. The level of moisture that must stay in the potatoes varies according to their use. In case you need to fry the potato strips instantly, then they must have around 20 percent moisture. Moreover, the water content must be around 65 percent while baking them and 55 percent when using a microwave oven.
Step 4: Par-Frying the Potato Strips
Par-frying results in potato chips which are soft from inside and crispy from outside. It is done at a temperature of 175 degrees for just two minutes. After this, the fries are cooled at room temperature.
Step 5: Flash Freezing the Potato Chips & Storage
To freeze many food items, mostly blast chillers are used. Blast chillers evenly spread frosty air to almost everything present inside and freeze them quickly. These are quite commonly used by large industries, restaurants, and grocery stores for freezing different food items. To freeze the potato chips, spread them in the form of a layer over a wax sheet and keep into the blast freezer for a short period.
When they are frozen, move them into airtight freezer bags and store them into the display freezers. Frozen potato chips can be stored at supermarkets for up to six months.
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