Dehydrated Potato Flakes
Potato Snacks | Processing Additives and Functions
How They're Made
Potato flakes are dehydrated mashed potatoes made by applying cooked, mashed potatoes to the surface of a single-drum drier fitted with applicator rolls, drying the deposited layer of potato solids rapidly to the desired moisture. The dried sheet of product is broken up then ground to a specific density as required by the customer. The largest size of flake Oregon Potato Company produces is a 5/8" milled product. The smallest is a course ground flour.

Two types of potato flake processes may be employed. One process employs a precook, cool and steam cook prior to drum drying. This process along with additives produces an end product that is suitable for reconstitution into mashed potatoes. Stickiness is minimal when reconstituted, providing a mealy product. When finely ground, this product produces a moderately sticky product when reconstituted.

The other process employs only steam cook prior to drying and is generally ground into flour. The uses for this type of product, which has higher stickiness, differ from the previously described product. This product is mainly used in the manufacture of pellets or die cut sheet snacks.

In summary, uses vary with product characteristics.

Processing Additives & Functions
  1. Mono & diglycerides:
    Ties up free starch to reduce stickiness and to provide release from the drum dryers. This is a required additive.
  2. Sodium bisulfite-To inhibit browning: color control
  3. Sodium and pyrophosphate-to inhibit greying: color control
  4. Citric acid-process aid for emulsions stability.
  5. BHA, BHT-to inhibit oxidation:for preserving flavor
  6. Color, spice and vitamins-added as required by the customer
All additives are optional except mono & diglycerides.

Potato Snacks
Potato snacks may be made from many potato sources - fresh, dry flakes, dry granules, and dry crushed as well as flour from crushed, and potato flour and potato starch. Most snacks utilize combinations of potato ingredients as well as other ingredients.

With potato flakes and ground flake, the greatest use is for fabricated chips. The chips are usually die cut from a sheeted dough prior to frying. Frying is in a free floating state if shape is not a factor, or in a fixed position if uniform shape is desired.

Formulas for these products are usually proprietary for each company. However, most will employ use of ground potato flakes, potato starch and an emulsifier (usually a monoglyceride). The dough must have a somewhat elastic characteristic and the correct moisture content to allow it to be sheeted thin prior to cutting without crumbling or falling apart. Small amounts of maltodextrin can be used to aid in dough and chip consistency.

Some companies in Europe and Asia use flakes or ground flakes as a base for pellets that, when fried, will expand to a very crispy light snack. That technology is a little more extensive since it usually requires cooking, extruding, cutting and drying to below 9% moisture to produce an intermediate product that can either be stored or fried to produce the final end product.

A good source for general information on snack technology including the above is Snack Food Technology, by Samuel A. Matz, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. Another source is Snack Food, edited by R. Gordon Booth, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Dehydrofrozen Dices | Dehydrated Flakes | Dehydrated Grind
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