|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Oxydation is the main quality problem with potato chips because of its fat content. It produces an undesirable odor and flavor that becomes progressively more intense and unpleasant as oxydation progresses. Rancidity can be of two types, hydrolytic and oxidative. Hydrolytic rancidity happens in dairy products and results from enzyme activity. In the case of the chips, we have oxydative rancidity. Basically, oxydation is the reaction of oxygen in the air with the fat in the chips. The chips are subject to that attack because they contain lots of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In some foods, manufacturers are permitted to add antioxidants which slow down the oxidative deterioration. The antioxidants normally used are butylated hydroxyansiole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoleune (BHT) and propyl gallate. Another means of slowing down oxidation is to package the food so that it is protected from light and oxygen, two things that accelerate oxidation. The chips bags are usually filled with nitrogen, with takes the place of oxygen and protects the products from being crushed in the transportation. You can find a science project about that subject at: http://www.eduzone. com/tips/science/gaoxidat.htm Please reply if you want more details. Reference: Principles of food chemistry. DeMan, AVI Publishing Co.
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