Analysis of Inputs/Outputs in Potato Chip Manufacturing

1518 Words7 Pages
Potato chips are a popular snack that many Americans enjoy daily. We all know they aren’t very healthy, but none the less, we continue to enjoy them. Often though, people never take the time to stop and think about how potato chips are manufactured. What goes into a potato chip? Where do the ingredients come from? Are potato chips hurting the environment?

To understand the issues surrounding the manufacture and processing of potato chips, one must first have a basic understand of how they are made. Potato chips start out as most people would imagine, as potatoes. The raw potatoes are grown on farms, and shipped by truck or by rail to the processing facility. Once they arrive at the facility, the potatoes are sent to the peeler—“a long cylinder with rollers that revolve around and around stripping the potato of its skin” (How Potato Chips Are Made). The potatoes then exit the peeler where they are run past human inspectors that will look for bad potatoes and remove them. The potatoes then continue into a slicer where they pass one by one through the machine being sliced into wafers 1/20th of an inch thick (How Potato Chips Are Made). The thin slices then continue along to the fryer. The fryer is a shallow trough filled with oil flowing from one side to the other; it is the current that pushes the frying slices to the other side. As the chips exit the fryer they are salted and inspected again. The chips are then poured into bags, sealed, and shipped to consumers across the country (How Potato Chips Are Made).

From this rudimentary description of the production of potato chips, one can see that the main ingredients include potatoes, oil, and some salt. However, what may not be so apparent are the “non-ingredient” inp...

... middle of paper ...

...-scale potato chip manufacturing operations are designed to make to be economical, to make money, not benefit their consumers or protect the environment. Only when a regulation is imposed (such as those from the EPA or FDA) are processes and procedures adjusted. Perhaps in the future with advances in technology, large potato chip manufacturers will integrate better ways to dispose of their by-products and create healthier chips at the same time.

Works Cited
"How Potato Chips are Made." State of Michigan. Michigan Department of Agriculture, 10 May 2007. Web. 12 Feb. 2010. .

Meizys, Dennis. "More Reasons to Avoid Potato Chips." Web log post. HealthForwardOnline. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. .

More about Analysis of Inputs/Outputs in Potato Chip Manufacturing

Open Document