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Potato chips

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there anyone in the business who knows why almost every bag of potato chips lists "specially selected potatoes" in the list of ingredients on the bag? Why not just potatoes or even selected potatoes? What's so special about them?

Curious, in Ontario. :look:
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One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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post #2 of 15
I can't tell you the exact requirement for the reasons, but understand it is the starch and sugar content of the raw potato that determines how crisp and brown the chip wil be.
post #3 of 15
I would guess that most potato chips are made from damaged potatoes. One end badly nicked, or moldy or bruised. Stuff like that. Then they get sorted and trimmed (of the bad part) by size, for different purposes such as hash browns (small/medium pieces), mashed potato flakes(scraps and so on) and potato chips. Chips would seem to require a largish potato that's more complete than not.

Potato chips also need a firm high starch potato so there's probably some other suitability tests.

That's my GUESS on "specially selected".

Phil
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 15
Many large chip manufacturers have breeding programs for their potatoes. They contract with several farmers to plant their crops for them. These potatoes are specifically selected for various reasons. After harvest, the potatoes are stockpiled and allowed to equilibrate to certain criteria. When these criteria are met they're processed. Great care is taken from year to year to ensure the harvest doesn't vary from one season to the next.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Kuan, your reply is certainly informative and explains how much thought and care goes into selecting the potatoes, but it doesn't explain why manufacturers use the phrase "specially selected" as opposed to "selected".

Being that I have a suspicious mind, I did a quick search on the internet and looked up the ingredient lists on organic chips. They use simple descriptions like russet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes and select potatoes. Not one that I found used "specially selected". That phrase seems to be used only by non-organic manufacturers. I now think it has something to do with the potatoes being genetically modified.

Any thoughts?
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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post #6 of 15
Well this is a very interesting thread. Now from whut the fella down at the fruit stand tole me...if you buy anything which grows below ground and is labled as "organic" it only designed to increase the cash flow. He say any kind of root crops is organic anyway..cuz there aint much of no kind of bug which can hurt it too bad..so it dont get sprayed much with toxic chemicals. Raw vegans look at it the same way. Meaning if them tater chips folks is advertising they using organic taters..they should be horsewhupped. May even expose em on the Babawa Wawa show or whutever. Who knows?

bigwheel
post #7 of 15
I think it's possible that you're reading too much into it. Kuan is right about how much actually goes into making a bag of chips. It's all very scientific to yield as much as possible and be as consistent as possible.
The rest goes under the heading of Marketing. Doesn't the phrase "we use only specially selected potatoes to make Brand X chips" sound a lot better then "we use whatever potatoes happen to be in the ground to make Brand X chips!"
:D
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #8 of 15

Potato Query

I believe some companies have unique specifications as to how their potatoes should look or weigh. It's not enough that they have no molds or is 100% natural. Some require that they be planted and harvested in a specific place or on specific climates or weather conditions. I'm sure that these factors has an effect on taste and texture. So i guess the term "specially selected" refers to these unique or peculiar factors that companies observe or watch out for.
post #9 of 15
Why not send an e-mail to any specified companies that have you asking this question?


My guess would be that it's a mixture of marketing and consistency in taste/texture.

crunch crunch :D

dan
post #10 of 15

One word: Marketing

It's all an advertising ploy.

Same with any "special" cat or dog food that describes the contents as "slow roasted beef with gravy" or "sweet salmon fillet"...

It's friggin pet food for crying out loud. Animals don't read. BUT their owners do. <presumably>

So, the potatoes aren't just trimmed for bad bits ... they are SPECIALLY SELECTED. <meaning they're "specially selected" and picked out to trim for bad bits>

April :roll:
post #11 of 15
Had house-made potato chips on the three different menu's of mine. The description was as follows- "House-made Potato chips..... Heaping basket made with Idaho Russet potatoes, Hand selected by the Chef and slow cooked in 100% Peanut oil. Served with warm tossed your choice of Cajun spices, Garlic Butter or plain. Served with ..... for dipping"

Yep it certainly was a heaping basket and they were Idaho potatoes (only #2 utility) and were hand selected by me. I hand selected each potato I used from the sink and sliced them on the mandoline.:D

All advertising and marketing. Trying to make the mundane sound better than it actually is.:crazy: :smiles:
post #12 of 15

Mmmm...Oldhouse...

Peanut oil...nothing better...

Rub chicken with dry chicken boullion and deep fry.

A Guatemalan method and yummy...

A*
post #13 of 15
Complete non-sequitur but maybe funny...

My son was in the used industrial valve business for ten years or so. He and his partners would travel North America finding and buying used valves from scrap dealers, refineries, steel mills, power plants,etc.- at scrap-steel prices. They would ship them back to their shop in Houston for cleaning, repair, rebuilding, and thourough testing and then sell them, mostly to valve distributors. Some had been exposed to really nasty conditions, temperatures, and materials and needed a lot of work. It was all legal, as long as they were not represented as new valves when resold.

He was visiting us near Chicago when he heard that an Ore-Ida frozen-potato plant in Michigan was being decommissioned. We drove over and he made a deal for a lot of stainless-steel valves. They were shipped back to Houston.

He told me later that, having been exposed to nothing but hot, food-grade vegetable oil for years, the valves were in better than new condition. He replaced the gaskets and stem packing, wiped them gently with a clean, soft cloth, and sold 'em. :bounce:

Easiest, quickest deal he ever made.

Mike :)
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #14 of 15
A huge percentage of potatos for chips are grown in North Florida, near St Augustine. They are special only in that the variety is specific and carefully grown. Lay's and Golden Flake have plants near, and the potatos are used fairly quickly.
post #15 of 15

Does anyone know of a list of breeds of potatos, listing their features, such as "high starch" or "waxy", etc.

I've located a brand that I think yields a very fluffy baking potato (which would probably be high starch, IMO)

 

I have a question about potato chips.  Is anything used as a preservative in the bagged potato chips?   I want to fry them before I lose them.  when I've done it in the past, the oil turned rancid before we ate them all (I made a HUGE lot of the, equivalent to several large bags of store-bought.  Can anyone think of something I can do to prevent that?

 

TIA

Donna

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