In the initial potato preparation, dirt, decayed potatoes, and other debris are first removed in cleaning hoppers. The potatoes go next to washers, then to abrasion, steam, or lye peelers. Abrasion is the most popular method. Preparation is either batch or continuous, depending on the number of potatoes to be peeled.
The next step is slicing, which is performed by a rotary slicer. Potato slice widths will vary with the condition of the potatoes and with the type of chips being made. The potato slices move through rotating reels where high-pressure water separates the slices and removes starch from the cut surfaces. The slices are then transferred to the rinse tank for final rinsing.
Next, the surface moisture is removed by 1 or more of the following methods: perforated revolving drum, sponge rubber-covered squeeze roller, compressed air systems, vibrating mesh belt, heated air, or centrifugal extraction.
The partially dried chips are then fried. Most producers use a continuous process, in which the slices are automatically moved through the fryer on a mesh belt. Batch frying, which is used for a smaller quantity of chips, involves placing the chips in a frying kettle for a period of time and then removing them. A variety of oils may be used for frying chips, with cottonseed, corn, and peanut oils being the most popular. Canola and soybean oils also are used. Animal fats are rarely used in this industry.
The process for other snack chips is similar to that for potato chip frying. Typically, the raw material is extruded and cut before entering the fryer. In some cases, the chips may be toasted before frying.
Cleaning and feeding system
The potato cleaning and feeding system is assured by machines designed for working in heavy and continuous conditions, made of special high-resistant material, able to softly treat the product and to economize the water.
The abrasive peeling system has improved efficiency and little need of maintenance, allowing considerable water and steam saving and a uniform potato peeling.
Urschell cutting machine “CC Slicer”
The Urschell cutting machine “CC Slicer” integrated with a particular single feeding device, assures a clean and precise cut with reduced scrap.
Blanching and de-starching
The blanching and de-starching of the product are assured by a cold and/or hot combined system able to adjust the treatment according to the raw material quality.
The Eco-fryer system features the “multi-point” oil circulation system. The “multi-point” assures optimal frying of potato chips with minimum oil absorption. The machine is provided with an External Heat Exchanger and with the Economizer unit. The Economizer is made to recover heat contained in the frying fumes and reduces air emissions assuring low pollution by the plant.
Flavouring and salting
The favouring and salting system is carried out by linear or drum machines. These machines are able to guarantee the homogeneous and soft product treatment.
Final packaging of the product
The final packaging of the product is assured by associative weighing systems able to guarantee bags with an extremely precise weight.
Natural Gas Technologies