Blanching CookingFrying

Blanching is not used in chip processing but is a necessary step in French fry and flake production. Blanching (soaking in water at 70-80°C) accomplishes the gelatization of starch granules to improve product texture and limits subsequent cooking oil absorption. Additionally, blanching limits enzyme activity and leaches reducing sugars from the raw potato strips. The removal of reducing sugars is important in preventing dark-colored French fries. Cooling in water at approximately 10°C immediately following blanching is used in potato-flake processing to accomplish gelling of starch. This step is not needed in French fry pro duction. To improve finished product quality (crispness and temperature retention), potato strips for French fries are dried after blanching and prior to frying. In some cases various coatings may be added prior to frying.

Although French fries and chips are both fried in cooking oil—times, temperatures, and equipment are different. Chips are fried as thin (0.125-0.175 cm) slices at times and temperatures that rapidly reduce their moisture content to less than 2%. Typical times and temperatures for chip frying might range from 1.5 to 3 min and from 155 to 190°C. French fries may be fried as strips ranging from 0.65 to 1.25 cm in thickness. Fry times are influenced by slice thickness and oil temperature, but range from 1 to 2.5 min in oil ranging from 160 to 190°C to accomplish an adequate par fry (partial frying), which removes moisture to less than 30 to 40%. Finish frying is done by the end-product user.

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