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SNACK MANUFACTURING PROCESS
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TO THE FACTORY
IngredientsPotato chips / crisps are made from fresh potatoes, vegetable oil and flavourings. It takes about 4 tonnes of potatoes to make 1 tonne of chips / crisps.
Specific varieties are grown for chip production, e.g. Saturna, Lady Rosetta.
The potatoes must have a high dry matter content and must have a low level of reducing sugars (glucose) in order to ensure the chips produced have a light golden yellow colour.
A range of different vegetable oils are used for frying. Nowadays sunflower oil is the preferred oil type used although rapeseed (canola) and palmolein may also be part of the oil blend. Over the last ten years the industry has changed towards high oleic varieties of sunflower oil in order to reduce the level of saturated fat in its products by up to 80%. This is in line with the generally accepted advice from health organisations around the world which recommend that saturated fat should be reduced in the diet.
The flavours that give potato chips / crisps their characteristic taste are created using ingredients from around the world. Herbs and spices are blended with flavouring topnotes and other ingredients to make the flavours that consumers love to experience, e.g cheese & onion, BBQ spare ribs, prawn cocktail, etc.
DeliveryPotatoes arrive at the factory by lorry for direct use on the potato chip / crisp processing line. Alternatively they may be brought out of onsite or local stores and loaded onto the line.
The vegetable oil is delivered in tankers and is stored before use in temperature controlled stainless steel holding tanks.
The flavours arrive in lined paper sacks or cartons.
All the ingredients are checked for quality when they arrive. Any which do not meet the company's tight specifications are rejected.
STORAGEAs there is only one potato crop per year across Europe, potatoes have to be stored after harvest (Sep-Oct) until the next new crop arrives (Jun-Jul). Potatoes are stored either in bulk or in wooden slatted boxes. During their time in store it is very important to ensure that they are held at the right temperature and humidity in order to keep them in good condition.
As the industry in Europe uses millions of tonnes of potatoes annually, potatoes which are harvested in the autumn are stored on the farm or in potato stores close to the factory.
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