French Fries Production
One the side of your burger or just as they are, French fries are largely loved worldwide and consumed in large amounts throughout the world. Nearly 1/4th of all potatoes sold result in French fries in the US. Recent statistics show that about nine million pounds of French fries are sold across the world by large fast food franchises like McDonald’s. So what goes on behind the stages? How are French fries produced at such rates? Let’s see the production process!
FRENCH FRIES PRODUCTION PROCESS
First and foremost the potatoes are washed to remove any sort of dust or impurities on the surface. This is almost the same process as any household would use to make French fries, except on a much larger magnitude and scale. The washing is done using water and the water can then be recycled within the plant and used again further in the plant as will be seen later.
Once the potatoes are washed and cleaned they go through hot steam for about 10 seconds that help the potato skin to easily rub off with some pressure after which they are moved on to the peeling section. Here the machine used is a carborundum roller and the left-over is brushed over by a brush wheel and some pressure.
One of the theories as to the origins of French fries was based on how they were cut. They were called French cause of the long stripes like the way French beans were cut. Slicing is an integral part of French fries. French fries are recognised all over the world for their shape: long potato slices. The machine used is for cutting potatoes to a desired size and thickness in a quick and precise way. The machine can also be used for other shapes if the cutting blades are switched out.
This wash is used for the removal of starch from the slices of potatoes arriving from the slicing section. The water from the potato washing (in the first stage) can be recycled and used to spray over the potatoes to improve the quality of the potato chips.
This is a process, in which they are dipped in hot water (around 80 degrees Celsius) and then cooled to avoid activation of an enzyme that would, in turn, keep the fries fresh, give them a good fry colour and really extract that potato flavour you are looking for.
After the blanching process the French fries are dried. This process can be done in a number of ways depending on the company’s preferences. Processes can range from a simple centrifugal machine that helps dries the fries. You may also employ a vibrating dryer and/or Air drying methods. Different methods of French fries cooking require different percentages of water content i.e. frying should be 70-75 percentage, baked Is lower with 65-70 and microwaving will be 55-60 percent.
This is not fully frying the potato chips, in this process, the French fries are partially fried in hot oil for about 2 minutes at 180°C.
FREEZING AND PACKAGING
After frying the fries they undergo freeing in temperatures ranging between -15 to -25°C after which they move to a machine that packs them according to the weight requirement given by the company.
Now, all that’s left of you to do is drop those delicious fries into a pan of hot oil and in a couple of minutes have a plate of French fries by your side.