What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags?

What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags
Nitrogen gas Nitrogen gas, making up 78 percent of the air we breathe, helps keep potato chips and other foods fresh and manufacturers attempt to eliminate oxygen from packaging altogether. Once a food package is opened and exposed to our ‘normal’ environmental air, the contents can become stale or spoil after exposure to oxygen.

Why is there air in a potato chip bag?

With barbecue season in full swing, chip lovers everywhere are constantly grabbing for this salty side. Of course, anyone who regularly purchases bagged snacks knows what it’s like to be woefully disappointed after popping open a sack and finding it literally half (or even a third) full. What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags The results, detailed in an infographic, named both the most chip-filled bag and the airiest one, while disproving a big modern food myth. As it turns out, the “air” in snack bags isn’t just air at all. It’s taste-preserving nitrogen that fights off staleness and protects bags from pre-snack time squashing. What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags Snack bags full of air leave stomachs empty! Getty Images The chip lovers at Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a New York City-based cabinet company, conducted this non-scientific study using some middle school-science knowledge of water displacement to measure the nitrogen-to-chip ratio in bags of 14 of America’s top-selling chip brands.

  1. They surrendered the chips and crunched the numbers — a true sacrifice for chip lovers everywhere.
  2. The results? Cheetos, Ruffles and Stacy’s Pita Chips had a larger air-to-snack ratio than other brands, meaning you might not be getting as much bang (or cheesy, finger-dusted goodness ) for your buck.
  3. According to the study, a bag of Cheetos is 41 percent snack and 59 percent taste-preserving air.

Ruffles and Stacy’s just broke even, measuring half air, half chip. The chips that offered the best bang for the buck were Fritos, Pringles and Tostitos. They had the highest chip-to-empty-space ratio, with air percentages ranging from 34 percent to just 19 percent in a Fritos bag. What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags A fresh bag of Lays is 41 percent air. That’s slightly better than average for the classic chip! Getty Images “It’s best to consider the average at 43 percent,” Kitchen Cabinet Kings said in a press release. “Anything above that certainly seems like a rip off and anything below that is just a pleasant surprise.” If you think that buying a better-for-you snack means you’re getting more crunchy goodness for your money, think again.

Which air is filled in potato chips?

How is nitrogen used in packaging chips and snacks? – July 8, 2022 Pneumatech nitrogen generators are most commonly used in food and beverage applications, where gas can be used in almost every part of the production process. Some examples are grinding, food injection, bottling, cleaning and blanketing. The most common application for nitrogen when producing chips and similar snack foods, is during the packaging process.

You may notice that when you open a new bag of potato chips, half of the bag is filled with “air”. That air is actually nitrogen gas. Nitrogen is an inert gas, and is used during the packaging process to exclude and remove air and in particular, oxygen. Oxygen is highly-reactive, so this means it likes to combine with other molecules, which results in food spoiling or losing its’ freshness.

By using nitrogen to push out the oxygen in chip bags, the shelf life is extended, and the integrity and quality of the chips and snacks are kept. Because food and beverage manufacturers are constantly using nitrogen, having an on-site nitrogen generator can save lots of money and time, compared to outsourcing a supply of nitrogen.

Is the air in chip bags necessary?

Is it really air in your bag of chips? – Actually, the answer is no. What many of us have mistaken for atmospheric air in our chip is actually nitrogen. In fact, oxygen would cause the chips to go stale and oils to become rancid. This process is known as “slack fill”, which is even thought to make chips taste better.

  • Slack fill isn’t harmful in any way, since about 78% of the air we breathe is composed of nitrogen.
  • The gas is also thought to give chips a cushion.
  • Since chips have a long way to go from creation to consumer, chip manufacturers intentionally inflate the package with nitrogen gas to protect it from damage during transit.

Still, that doesn’t excuse the sheer proportion of space that gas occupies in a bag when it’s supposed to be filled with food. However, unless chips are sold vacuum-sealed, there’s really no way to get around a nitrogen stuffed bag. Even the brands that offer you the most bang for your buck are still going to have a bit of air.

Why are chips bags not full?

The air is there for good reason. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. A bread company doesn’t sell you half a loaf. An ice cream manufacturer doesn’t fill the carton only halfway.

  • Sparkling water goes to the top of the can, not the middle.
  • So why would chip companies think it’s acceptable to sell bags that are only half-filled? Simple: it’s the best way to ensure a positive snacking experience.
  • Potato chips are quite fragile, and the jostle of bumpy roads, the brusque hustle of filling shelves, and the cramped spaces of grocery sacks can do real damage to those delicate crisps.
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Air, it turns out, is the best way to in protect the snack foods from becoming a bag full of crumbs. Of course, we don’t mind potato chip crumbs when we want them—for example, these chip-crusted fish fillets —but large, flaky chips are typically what we want with our burgers, sandwiches, or (and let’s be honest here) road-trip snacks.

  1. Indeed, this “slack fill” is purposefully added to chip bags by snack manufacturers in order to act as a sort of cushion around potato chips and other delicate products.
  2. The top half (or two-thirds) of the bag is pumped full of gas before it’s sealed.
  3. This gives chips some room to move in the event the bag is jostled, jabbed, or jerked after the chips leave the manufacturer and before they end up in your hand at the vending machine or grocery store.

Yet, that gas is no ordinary gas. Food manufacturers use a special gas—one that research proves is the best option—so their snack foods don’t become soggy on the way to the store. Inside those bags of crisp corn chips coated in delicate sea salt is nitrogen gas.

Why do chips packet filled with so much hair?

I am sure you all know that feeling of opening up your favourite chips packet, only to find it half empty – disappointed much? Are these chips companies cheating us? It may seem like a rip off to get a packet filled with a large amount of air; however, the manufacturers claim that there is a good reason for inflating air in chips packet.

  • The air in these chips packet is not ordinary air, it’s nitrogen.
  • Yes, you heard us right! The idea behind doing this is to prevent the chips from getting oxidised, so that they do not go stale or soggy.
  • Oxygen is highly reactive, and has a tendency to combine with other molecules, which cause chemical changes that may spoil the chips.

On the other hand, nitrogen is quite stable and nonreactive. It is believed that a ‘nitrogen atmosphere,’ is good, especially for storing foods. The air in chips packet prevents the chips from getting stale. According to various potato chips manufacturers, many chips/crisps have a ‘best before’ date of 40 to 55 days, before they go stale. The presence of nitrogen in potato chips packet helps in increasing their shelf life, without even adding artificial preservatives.

Moreover, do you know the air we breathe is mostly 78% of nitrogen; therefore, there are no chances of harmful effects of the same on our body.Another reason of adding air to our beloved packet of chips is to protect them from damage. Since potato chips are susceptible to a level of breakage, the air inflated in potato chips packet acts as a ‘cushion’ during the shipping and transportation processes.

This whole process is known as ‘slack fill,’ which is followed by all the chips manufacturers globally. Adding air to the packet of chips protects them from damage. As per the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 (SWMA), it is mandatory for the manufacturers to clearly mention the net weight of their product’s contents to avoid providing any misleading information to their customers.

Unfortunately, the rule is hardly followed by the manufacturers. We mostly assume that larger the packaging is, more will be the product. The logical process of inflating air in potato chips packet to prevent them from any damage, both internally and externally, should be rather transparent. Also, the actual weight of the chips, excluding the air, should be clearly mentioned on the packet.

About Shubham Bhatnagar You can often find Shubham at a small authentic Chinese or Italian restaurant sampling exotic foods and sipping a glass of wine, but he will wolf down a plate of piping hot samosas with equal gusto. However, his love for homemade food trumps all.

How do potato chips stay so fresh in the bag?

Chip bags have all that air in them for a valid reason — and it’s not air, anyway, it’s nitrogen gas. So what is this gas doing in your bag of crisps? First, the gas acts as a preservative so your chips are as crispy when you open the bag as the day they were packaged.

Next, the gas also gives the chips a cushion. In what’s known as slack fill, chips manufacturers intentionally inflate the package with nitrogen gas to protect it from damage in transit. Without the cushion of nitrogen gas, chips would likely wind up at their final destination as a bag of crumbs, because the chips inside the bag would break through being stacked in transit or packed onto a grocery store shelf.

Nitrogen gas is piped into the chip bag before packaging. The gas displaces oxygen from the bag, which is then filled with chips and sealed. Without this step, chips would have a much shorter shelf life. Oxygen in the bag would cause the chips to stale and humidity found in air would lead to soggy crisps — no signature crunch.

  1. While nitrogen gas does play an important role in keeping chips fresh and full-sized, there is a danger in using this gas.
  2. Not to the chips — since nitrogen lacks odor, color, and flavor—but to the employees in the processing plant.
  3. Nitrogen preserves the chips’ texture because it displaces oxygen.
  4. If nitrogen leaks in the packaging facility, it will displace ambient oxygen — eventually causing levels to fall so low they threaten employee health.
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Workers become confused and dizzy when they breathe air that lacks sufficient oxygen. Oxygen-deficient air also causes respiratory problems and can lead to death via asphyxiation. The same properties that made nitrogen a good choice for preservation — lack of color, odor, and taste — mean employees cannot detect a leak until it is too late. Fortunately, there’s a simple and reliable way to make sure food packaging facilities aren’t leaking nitrogen: Using oxygen sensors to measure the amount of oxygen in the air. How an Oxygen Deficiency Monitor Protects Food Packaging Plant Workers An oxygen monitor tracks oxygen levels in the facility, which should be stable as long as there is no gas leak.

  1. Since nitrogen gas displaces oxygen, oxygen levels will fall in the event that nitrogen starts to leak.
  2. When oxygen levels fall below safe thresholds — which are defined by OSHA as 19.5 percent — the oxygen monitor will sound an alarm.
  3. Employees will be able to leave the packaging floor and alert emergency personnel before the situation turns deadly.

For peace of mind, employees can check the levels of ambient oxygen by looking at the face of the monitor. A silent monitor — with no loud alarms or flashing lights — indicates that all is well. Lights and loud noises mean staff should stop what they are doing and vacate immediately.

Why are potato chip bags half full?

But Wait, There’s More – Thought that your potato chip bag was puffed up with air? The cushion actually is nitrogen gas. Chip manufacturers fill bags with this preservative gas to help keep chips fresh. If it were filled with regular air, the chips would likely turn soggy and spoil.

What is the purpose of using nitrogen in potato chip bags?

Potato chip bags are not full of air, but of nitrogen gas. This is done to prevent the chips from oxidizing, which is part of what makes them go stale.

Is nitrogen heavier than air?

Nitrogen gas is only slightly lighter than air and readily mixes with air at room temperature. Cold vapors are more dense and will settle. Liquid nitrogen, a cryogenic liquid, has a very low boil- ing point of –320°F.

Can chips go bad?

Chips – Like bread, potato chips may get stale past their expiration date, but they are still perfectly safe to eat. If they are in an open bag, they’ll be alright until you decide the texture is too much to handle, but if the bag is sealed, it can still be good months later. as if you’d have an uneaten bag of chips laying around for that long.

Are cereal bags filled with nitrogen?

Skip to content What Is The Air In Potato Chip Bags Americans love their breakfast cereal. In 2017, the most popular cereals in the country included Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, according to a marketing and data firm, In fact, Americans consume 2.7 billion boxes of cereal each year, or approximately 14 pounds of cereal per person.

And there’s a prize inside each box of breakfast cereal that Americans buy today: nitrogen. Cereal has a long history in the U.S., dating back to John Harvey Kellogg’s invention of Corn Flakes around 1900. Once his younger brother added a dash of sugar to the flakes, the cereal caught on instantly, triggering a rush of new brands to feed the hungry public.

By the end of World War II, Americans could start their day with Wheaties, Rice Krispies, or Cheerios, all still popular brands today. The outside of the cereal box has featured bright colors and cartoon characters at least since Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared in 1933.

  • But cereal has changed over the decades, with the 1970s introducing fruit-flavored cereal and monster brands, while the 1990s saw the rise of health cereals.
  • And the inside of the cereal box has also changed.
  • Today, cereal stays fresh on the shelf thanks to nitrogen.
  • Rather than filling cereal bags with regular air, which contains oxygen, food manufacturers use 100% nitrogen gas to protect cereal.

Nitrogen improves cereal in two ways: first, it adds extra padding to the cereal, which keeps it from breaking into pieces during transportation. And second, nitrogen keeps cereal fresh by replacing oxygen. Because oxygen reacts with foods, it can cause cereal to turn stale while it’s still on the shelf at the grocery store.

  1. And oxygen also fuels the growth of bacteria and mold, which is a surprise no one wants to find in their breakfast cereal.
  2. Nitrogen, in contrast, keeps the cereal crisp and crunchy.
  3. Just like nitrogen keeps cereal fresh, it also protects other foods, like chips, fruit, and cheese.
  4. The same scientific principle also explains why many drivers fill their car tires with nitrogen.

By removing oxygen, which can cause bacterial growth and break down the insides of the tire faster, drivers extend the life of their tires. When a cereal box promises a prize inside, the manufacturer probably doesn’t mean the nitrogen. But don’t forget that every box of cereal contains that special prize to keep it fresh.

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What does air in chips do?

I am sure you all know that feeling of opening up your favourite chips packet, only to find it half empty – disappointed much? Are these chips companies cheating us? It may seem like a rip off to get a packet filled with a large amount of air; however, the manufacturers claim that there is a good reason for inflating air in chips packet.

The air in these chips packet is not ordinary air, it’s nitrogen. Yes, you heard us right! The idea behind doing this is to prevent the chips from getting oxidised, so that they do not go stale or soggy. Oxygen is highly reactive, and has a tendency to combine with other molecules, which cause chemical changes that may spoil the chips.

On the other hand, nitrogen is quite stable and nonreactive. It is believed that a ‘nitrogen atmosphere,’ is good, especially for storing foods. The air in chips packet prevents the chips from getting stale. According to various potato chips manufacturers, many chips/crisps have a ‘best before’ date of 40 to 55 days, before they go stale. The presence of nitrogen in potato chips packet helps in increasing their shelf life, without even adding artificial preservatives.

  1. Moreover, do you know the air we breathe is mostly 78% of nitrogen; therefore, there are no chances of harmful effects of the same on our body.Another reason of adding air to our beloved packet of chips is to protect them from damage.
  2. Since potato chips are susceptible to a level of breakage, the air inflated in potato chips packet acts as a ‘cushion’ during the shipping and transportation processes.

This whole process is known as ‘slack fill,’ which is followed by all the chips manufacturers globally. Adding air to the packet of chips protects them from damage. As per the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 (SWMA), it is mandatory for the manufacturers to clearly mention the net weight of their product’s contents to avoid providing any misleading information to their customers.

Unfortunately, the rule is hardly followed by the manufacturers. We mostly assume that larger the packaging is, more will be the product. The logical process of inflating air in potato chips packet to prevent them from any damage, both internally and externally, should be rather transparent. Also, the actual weight of the chips, excluding the air, should be clearly mentioned on the packet.

About Shubham Bhatnagar You can often find Shubham at a small authentic Chinese or Italian restaurant sampling exotic foods and sipping a glass of wine, but he will wolf down a plate of piping hot samosas with equal gusto. However, his love for homemade food trumps all.

Why are the bags of potato chips filled with nitrogen?

It is an inert gas, and it prevents the oxidation of oils present in the chips. This keeps the chips fresh and has no or less breakage. Nitrogen is often filled in chips packets to prevent rancidity as it is not too reactive with either oils or fats of chips.

Why are chip bags half empty?

The air is there for good reason. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. A bread company doesn’t sell you half a loaf. An ice cream manufacturer doesn’t fill the carton only halfway.

  1. Sparkling water goes to the top of the can, not the middle.
  2. So why would chip companies think it’s acceptable to sell bags that are only half-filled? Simple: it’s the best way to ensure a positive snacking experience.
  3. Potato chips are quite fragile, and the jostle of bumpy roads, the brusque hustle of filling shelves, and the cramped spaces of grocery sacks can do real damage to those delicate crisps.

Air, it turns out, is the best way to in protect the snack foods from becoming a bag full of crumbs. Of course, we don’t mind potato chip crumbs when we want them—for example, these chip-crusted fish fillets —but large, flaky chips are typically what we want with our burgers, sandwiches, or (and let’s be honest here) road-trip snacks.

  • Indeed, this “slack fill” is purposefully added to chip bags by snack manufacturers in order to act as a sort of cushion around potato chips and other delicate products.
  • The top half (or two-thirds) of the bag is pumped full of gas before it’s sealed.
  • This gives chips some room to move in the event the bag is jostled, jabbed, or jerked after the chips leave the manufacturer and before they end up in your hand at the vending machine or grocery store.

Yet, that gas is no ordinary gas. Food manufacturers use a special gas—one that research proves is the best option—so their snack foods don’t become soggy on the way to the store. Inside those bags of crisp corn chips coated in delicate sea salt is nitrogen gas.