why potato chips packets are filled with nitrogen gas
You know you ve been there: You open a potato chip bag only to hear a loud pop and air release, and then you look down and the chips take up a mere fraction of the bag. This has probably left you with all kinds of questions, such as, What air is in a potato chip bag? Why do bags of chips have air in them? and БHow much air is in a potato chip bag? Now is the day you get answers. What Air Is in a Potato Chip Bag? Before we get into why bags of chips are filled with air, letБs talk about what is actually being used. The secret ingredient that you refer to as air is actually nitrogen gas. Regular air contains all kinds of particles, including oxygen and water vapor, both of which will cause the chips to rapidly decay. So food manufacturers displace the oxygen and water vapor with nitrogen to make the food more shelf stable. This process is often referred to as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and helps foods to maintain their quality. Why Do Bags of Chips Have Air in Them? We have briefly answered the question, БWhy are potato chip bags filled with air? Б but now itБs time to break it down into more detail. These are the main reasons why bags of chips have nitrogen in them:
It gives the chips a longer shelf life. Bacteria need oxygen to thrive, and if all of the oxygen is removed, it canБt grow. This means there is no chance of mold, mildew, or other substances showing up on the chips.
It keeps away moisture. In addition to oxygen, moisture is an enemy of potato chips. By filling every last ounce of space with nitrogen, water vapor will not be able to enter the bag, and the chips will stay nice and crispy until you are ready to eat them. It keeps the chips whole. Finally, bags of chips have nitrogen in them to act as a barrier as the chips are being transported from the manufacturing facility to the store and from the store to your home. The nitrogen acts like a pillow, buffering out any impact so it keeps the chips intact. How Much Air Is in A Potato Chip Bag? The answer to this question can vary quite a bit. However, products are supposed to list the actual net weight of their product on the packaging, so you will know exactly how much you are getting. So instead of looking at the size of the bag, pay attention to the net weight of the chips inside. Even though it may seem like the nitrogen in a potato chip bag is only there to deceive you, it actually serves a very important purpose: to protect the chips from being crushed or going bad. It is especially effective because it does not impact the taste or texture at all. If you manufacturer potato chips and you want to make sure you always have enough nitrogen to keep things moving,. With our on site nitrogen gas generators, you will never run out of the nitrogen gas you need to keep your chips in tip-top shape.
It s a deflating feeling: you open a bag of crisps, and the air rushes out, leaving a few underwhelming crumbs at the bottom of a huge packet. This wasted space has now become the feature of artist Henry Hargreaves. Over the years of being a consumer and buying crisps I was constantly being disappointed with the value for money. And eventually I snapped, says Hargreaves. Packaging and the display of food has become an illusion and a fantasy. Bags of crisps are filled, not with air, but with nitrogen to keep them fresh My hypothesis was that there might be 50% air in the worst offenders, not 87%, he says. Hargreaves calculated the volume of each filled bag by submerging them under water and then monitoring the displacement. He then vacuum-sealed the contents in another bag and compared the difference. In fact, bags of crisps are not filled with atmospheric air but nitrogen, because the oxygen in air would cause the crisps to go soft. Nitrogen gives the product a longer shelf life, and suggested that it makes the crisps tastier. It s not the first time consumers have felt short-changed by crisps manufacturers. In 2012, the UK crisp manufacturer Walkers came in for some stick on Twitter after some consumers found as few as five crisps in a single bag of their Deep Ridge range. Walkers told the BBC s Watchdog programme a consumer rights show that the air is necessary to protect the product during manufacture and transit.
The nitrogen padding not only provides cushioning but. In his crisp experiments, however, Hargreaves found a different story. I assumed the air would stop them breaking, but the reverse happened. The ones with the most air also have the most breakage. I found when I vacuum-sealed them this was the most efficient way to transport and handle them without breaking them. 86 out of every 100 trucks carrying Doritos don't need to be on the road. That s a big carbon footprint Henry Hargreaves For Hargreaves, there s also a more serious point to his work: all this extra air makes the bags less efficient to transport, which in turn is bad for the environment. For example, 86 out of every 100 trucks carrying Doritos don't need to be on the road. That s a big carbon footprint! Even the crisps not stored in bags contained lots of air. I assumed that Pringles would be the best value for money because it s a tube filled with chips, but still there s a hell of a lot of air there and when I opened them the chips don t even go the whole way to the top of the tube. They were the ones that surprised me most. Read more about Hargreaves last art project, when he reduced soft drinks to a sticky syrup to make into lollipops. Follow us on , , , LinkedIn and Instagram.
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