In April 2002, Swedish researchers shocked the world when they presented preliminary findings on the presence of acrylamide in fried and baked foods, most notably potato chips and French fries, at levels of 30–2,300 ppb. The objective of this research was to study the effect of immersing potato slices in a NaCl solution over the acrylamide formation in the resultant potato chips. Potato slices (Verdi variety, diameter 40 mm, width 2.0 mm) were fried at 170 °C for 5 min (final moisture content of ∼2.0%). Prior to frying, the potato slices were treated in one of the following ways: (1) control slices (unblanched or raw potato slices); (2) slices blanched at 90 °C for 5 min in water; (3) slices blanched at 90 °C for 5 min plus immersed in a 1 g/100 g NaCl solution at 25 °C for 5 min; (4) slices blanched at 90 °C for 5 min plus immersed in a 3 g/100 g NaCl solution at 25 °C for 5 min; (5) slices blanched at 90 °C for 5 min plus immersed in distilled water at 25 °C for 5 min; and (6) slices blanched at 90 °C for 5 min in a 3 g/100 g NaCl solution. Blanching followed by the immersion of potato slices in 1 g/100 g NaCl solution was effective in reducing acrylamide content in ∼62%; however, almost half of this percentage (∼27%) could be attributed to the effect of NaCl and 35% to the effect of the slight heating treatment during salt immersion step (25 °C for 5 min). Blanching seems to make the NaCl diffusion in potato tissue easier leading to a significant acrylamide reduction in the potato slices after frying.
- Potato chips