The European snack maker’s method can be used on fried or baked potato-based snack products either regularly sliced or ridged.
The method enables fat reduction because the flavoring of potato chips does not rely on an oil emulsion to bind the ingredients, KP Snacks said in its patent filing.
“Because flavoring is located within the product, rather than being present merely on the surface as in the prior art, the invention can provide increased fullness and depth of flavor and/or color in crisps prepared from fresh potatoes, without increasing the final product fat content, as compared with an equivalent product flavored by conventional dust-on means alone,” it said.
If fried, the flavored chips can have a fat content of 20-40%, and if baked a fat content of less than 20%. This compares to regular flavored and fried potato chips that have a fat content of between 30-40% and regular flavored, and baked chips that contain less than 30% fat.
KP Snacks said the method could also improve the perceived duration of flavor during eating.
“Flavoring components that may optionally be present on the surface of the product will be perceived immediately, whereas flavoring components distributed within the matrix in accordance with the invention will be perceived more on biting and chewing, generating a delayed-release and to some extent controlled, or gradual, release of the flavor.”
Incorporated into the matrix
The flavors are incorporated into the potatoes pieces via a water-based blend, ahead of the baking or frying process. This can be done by immersing the potato pieces into water-based flavoring, tumbling the pieces within the blend or spraying or drenching the pieces, the patent detailed.
KP Snacks said a water pre-washing step ahead of this was recommended to enhance the uptake of flavoring components, thereby increasing the concentration of flavors within the matrix.
The flavors can be incorporated uniformly or non-uniformly within the matrix of the product, the snack company said. It said that non-uniform incorporation could be advantageous for snacks where colorants are present.
It is possible to additionally adhere a different flavor to the external surface of the pre-flavored potato chips, KP Snacks said. “That allows novel and innovative combinations of flavors to be delivered by the product,” it wrote.