How Potato Chips Are Made

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The Manufacturing 
Process
* 1 When the potatoes arrive at the plant, they are examined and tasted for quality. A half dozen or so buckets are randomly filled. Some are punched with holes in their cores so that they can be tracked through the cooking process. The potatoes are examined for green edges and blemishes. The pile of defective potatoes is weighed; if the weight exceeds a company's preset allowance, the entire truckload can be rejected. * 2 The potatoes move along a conveyer belt to the various stages of manufacturing. The conveyer belts are powered by gentle vibrations to keep breakage to a minimum. Destoning and peeling

* 3 The potatoes are loaded into a vertical helical screw conveyer which allows stones to fall to the bottom and pushes the potatoes up to a conveyer belt to the automatic peeling machine. After they have been peeled, the potatoes are washed with cold water. Slicing

* 4 The potatoes pass through a revolving impaler/presser that cuts them into paper-thin slices, between 0.066-0.072 in (1.7-1.85 mm) in thickness. Straight blades produce regular chips while rippled blades produce ridged potato chips. * 5 The slices fall into a second cold-water wash that removes the starch released when the potatoes are cut. Some manufacturers, who market their chips as natural, do not wash the starch off the potatoes. Color treatment

* 6 If the potatoes need to be chemically treated to enhance their color, it is done at this stage. The potato slices are immersed in a solution that has been adjusted for pH, hardness, and mineral content. Frying and salting

* 7 The slices pass under air jets that remove excess water as they flow into 40-75 ft (12.2-23 m) troughs filled with oil. The oil temperature is kept at 350-375°F (176.6-190.5°C). Paddles gently push the slices along. As the slices tumble, salt is sprinkled from receptacles positioned above the trough at the rate of about 1.75 lb (0.79 kg) of salt to each 100 lb (45.4 kg) of chips. The Manufacturing 

Process
* 1 When the potatoes arrive at the plant, they are examined and tasted for quality. A half dozen or so buckets are randomly filled. Some are punched with holes in their cores so that they can be tracked through the cooking process. The potatoes are examined for green edges and blemishes. The pile of defective potatoes is weighed; if the weight exceeds a company's preset allowance, the entire truckload can be rejected. * 2 The potatoes move along a conveyer belt to the various stages of manufacturing. The conveyer belts are powered by gentle vibrations to keep breakage to a minimum. Destoning and peeling

* 3 The potatoes are loaded into a vertical helical screw conveyer which allows stones to fall to the bottom and pushes the potatoes up to a conveyer belt to the automatic peeling machine. After they have been peeled, the potatoes are washed with cold water. Slicing

* 4 The potatoes pass through a revolving impaler/presser that cuts them into paper-thin slices, between 0.066-0.072 in (1.7-1.85 mm) in thickness. Straight blades produce regular chips while rippled blades produce ridged potato chips. * 5 The slices fall into a second cold-water wash that removes the starch released when the potatoes are cut. Some manufacturers, who market their chips as natural, do not wash the starch off the potatoes. Color treatment

* 6 If the potatoes need to be chemically treated to enhance their color, it is done at this stage. The potato slices are immersed in a solution that has been adjusted for pH, hardness, and mineral content. Frying and salting

* 7 The slices pass under air jets that remove excess water as they flow into 40-75 ft (12.2-23 m) troughs filled with oil. The oil temperature is kept at 350-375°F (176.6-190.5°C). Paddles gently push the slices along. As the slices tumble, salt is sprinkled from receptacles positioned above the trough at the rate of about 1.75 lb (0.79 kg) of salt to each 100 lb (45.4 kg)...
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