Chips are the most common fast food in the world. The appetizer is made from thin slices of potatoes, less often other vegetables like sweet potato, beets or carrots are used. Slices of root vegetables are deep-fried, get rid of excess fat and packaged in bright rustling packages. The global market for potato chips is measured in tens of billions of dollars a year. The product makes up about 40% of the total volume of all purchased snacks in the United States. Crispy slices have become a real gastronomic giant and have not lost ground for several years.

What you need to know about chips, how they are made, and can the product really lead to obesity?

Historical note

History claims that the appearance of chips is nothing more than an accident. It all happened on August 25, 1882. George Krum worked as a chef at the Moon's Lake Lodge hotel in the American resort of Saratoga Springs. A warm August day was no different from a series of others. At the end of dinner, the waiter ran into the kitchen and ordered the dish to be redone. Railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt didn't like fried potatoes. The tycoon complained that the vegetable had been shredded into fodder pieces, and he did not even want to see such a fat potato.

Krum decided to play a trick on Vanderbilt and cut the potatoes no thicker than a paper sheet, fried them and sent them to the hall. A few minutes later, the waiter ran into the kitchen again. He said that the guests are delighted and want a daily serving of thinly sliced ​​potatoes for dinner. Krum did not expect such a reaction, but quickly got his bearings and made the dish the highlight of the restaurant. This is how “Saratoga Chips” appeared on the menu, which turned from a signature dish of a cozy restaurant into the most sought-after snack in the world. In 1860, the chef opened his own restaurant, which was destined to last only 30 years. On each table of the institution there was a compliment from the chef - a basket with the same potato chips. Krum's place quickly gained popularity and turned into a trendy restaurant for wealthy Americans and tourists. George sold fried slices only inside the restaurant, not giving takeaway bags. But competitors took advantage of this tactic, and chips filled the streets of the city.

In 1895, William Tappendon opened his own production of potato slices. William started a business in his own kitchen, and later, through titanic efforts, he built a factory and launched industrial production. The first batches were delivered to Cleveland.

A few years later, Laura Scudder would offer wax paper for packaging potatoes. This is how the concept of bags of chips was born. And in 1932, the Lay's brand appeared. This is the first national brand of chips that has survived to this day and does not lose its leadership in the modern market.

The new trend captured not only America, but also the Soviet Union. The first chips were produced in the USSR in 1963. “Moskovsky crispy potato in slices” made a splash among the population. The first factory for the production of the product was located in Moscow. Later they spread throughout all the Union republics.

How to prepare chips on an industrial scale

The basis of the product is potatoes. From 4 kilograms of potatoes, about 1 kilogram of chips is obtained. Not every root crop is suitable for their preparation. Its structure should be dense, and the content of sugar should be minimal. In total, there are 7 varieties that are ideal for industrial production of chips.

Potatoes are delivered to the plant in huge trucks, they are examined and it is decided whether the batch can be skipped for processing. If there are many green or black spots on the product, the lot is returned to the supplier. Potatoes go through several stages of processing:

  • cleaning from sprouts and earth;
  • size distribution (small tubers disposed of);
  • separation from stones and chips;
  • mud washing;
  • peeling (potatoes are passed through a special drum with rough walls that erase the peel);
  • rewash;
  • re-sorting by size (this time the tubers are not thrown away, but cut into pieces);
  • final quality check by employees.

After that, the potatoes are cut into thin slices, washed again with water to get rid of starch and sent to frying. They are dipped in hot oil for 3 minutes. The process takes place in a closed container at a temperature of 180°C. Moisture meters are installed at the outlet of the apparatus, they check the degree of roasting and give appropriate signals.

The next step is optical sorting. A special device removes defective slices from the conveyor, after which it sends the chips to the spice application stage. The slices are poured into a huge drum, which evenly distributes the spices. Seasonings stick to the surface, so there is no difficulty in applying them. After several rounds of production, the chips are sent to the weigher, then to the pack, and then to the store counter. One batch of potato slices cooks in less than one hour.

Harm and side effects from consumption

Fast food consumption statistics are disappointing. For example, in the UK there are 100 packs of potato chips per person per year. Chips have become not just a favorite treat, but dangerous food waste, the use of which must be limited. Why?

Weight spikes and health problems

Chips are one of the most high-calorie and fatty foods on the market. 20 toasted slices contain 10 grams of fat and 160 calories. One small package per day equals 5 liters of oil per year. According to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, even sweet snacks, chocolate and industrial desserts do not pose the same danger and harm as deep-fried potatoes.

Uncontrolled appetite

Each pack of fast food contains a dangerous dose of starch and fast refined carbohydrates. So says Dr. Mozaffarian, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School. Starch and carbohydrates disrupt blood sugar and insulin levels. Such instability affects our appetite. We stop feeling full, and hunger becomes a normal state during the day. The result is overeating and eating disorders.

Violation of blood pressure

The composition of potato slices abounds in sodium (Na). The nutrient can affect the condition of the heart and blood vessels. Under the influence of sodium, jumps in blood pressure occur, which leads to heart failure, coronary disease and reduces the functionality of the kidneys.

Fact: There are 120 to 180 milligrams of sodium in 30 grams of chips. Few people limit themselves to 30 grams of chips, so the daily dosage, taking into account meals during the day, is exceeded by 1.5-2 times.

Increasing the level of "bad" cholesterol

Hydrogenated fat is used to make chips or any other convenience food. This is a vegetable oil that undergoes chemical processing and becomes hazardous to health: it increases the level of cholesterol, disrupts the functioning of the heart / blood vessels, fills the body with carcinogens and toxic substances.

The process of producing chips on an industrial scale is not visible to the eyes of ordinary people. Some manufacturers use the same oil for multiple batches of chips. It turns black, changes its composition, but continues to bring profit to the company, and health problems to customers.

The risk of malignant neoplasms

According to a report by Munich scientists, fried potatoes may increase the risk of developing cancer. This is due to the content of glycidamide. The substance causes irreparable harm to cells, literally destroys the body from the inside and makes it vulnerable to most infections.

Risks during pregnancy

In 2002, Swedish scientists proved that eating chips harms both the mother and the fetus. The experiment involved 186 pregnant women. It turned out that glycidamide affects the cellular structure of DNA. Toddlers whose mothers abused fast food were more likely to suffer from hyperactivity and heart disease.

Enamel decay and caries

When chewed, starchy chips turn into a porridge that gets stuck between the teeth. It contains dangerous bacteria that instantly turn starch into acid. The acid erodes the enamel, makes the teeth vulnerable and increases the sensitivity of the gums. To avoid unpleasant symptoms, rinse your mouth with water after eating and clean out food debris with dental floss.

Is there an alternative to chips

Over the past few years, humanity has become scrupulous about taking care of its health. We are gradually giving up smoking, popularizing bicycles and active sports, replacing a burger with a serving of vegetables. Chips also undergo some metamorphoses. Healthy eaters have created a healthy alternative to chips with trans fats - steamed or baked spicy vegetable slices.

Vegetable chips are virtually indistinguishable from ordinary ones: their shape, crunch and color are identical to the traditional product that our eyes and taste buds are accustomed to. Vegetable slices will not harm your health and will not stay with you for the next ten years in the form of a crease at the waist.

How to prepare them? We will need:

  • beets - 1 piece;
  • carrots - 1 piece;
  • potatoes - 2 pieces;
  • spices and herbs to taste.

Cut peeled vegetables into thin slices. It is best to use a vegetable peeler for this: it will give perfectly even and thin pieces, the structure of which is no different from industrial fast food. Pour the vegetables into a large bowl, rub them with spices, garlic, onions and other seasonings to taste.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place pickled vegetable chips on it and bake until done. Potatoes are cooked 40-60 minutes at 180°C, beets 40 minutes at 150°C, carrots 40 minutes at 140°C. Remember to stir the vegetables occasionally so they don't stick to the parchment and cook evenly. Cool slices or serve hot. They can be added to salads, soups, first / second courses or eaten as an independent snack with your favorite sauce. Eat right and be healthy!

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