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The Real Reason Pringles Aren't Actually Potato Chips

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Channel: Mashed
Categories: Cooking   |   Fine Arts  
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Thanks to their unique shape, Pringles have always stood out from the pack. According to Delish, they were originally sold as "Newfangled Potato Chips" before being rebranded Pringles. The product was reportedly designed to address many of the problems so often associated with potato chips: Namely, they can be greasy. They can get stale. And they can break into pieces far too easily. But no... not Pringles. They really are the perfect snack when you just gotta have some crunch, right?

Due to their innovative design and distinctive packaging, there's always been some confusion as to whether Pringles can even be considered potato chips at all. According to Taste of Home, "potato" isn't even listed as one of Pringles' ingredients, only "dehydrated processed potato." In 1975, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that the company would have to change the packaging, unless they were willing to say that they used this dried potato ingredient in lieu of real potatoes. The brand decided to go with "potato crisps" instead of "potato chips" to get around the FDA's pesky rules, a move that eventually caused a few issues across the pond. After all, in Great Britain, all potato chips are called "crisps."

In 2009, Procter & Gamble, the company that makes Pringles, reportedly reasoned that they weren't actually making "potato crisps," and their reasoning there is rather hard to believe. According to How Stuff Works, they argued that

"[Pringles didn't] contain enough potato to have the quality of 'potatoness.'"

The company reportedly did this in an attempt to avoid a Value Added Tax that's applied to all potato chips and similar foods made from potato or potato flour. Furthermore, the company argued that Pringles should actually be considered a "savory snack" and therefore be exempt from the tax. The courts didn't agree, and Procter & Gamble eventually had to cough up $160 million in taxes. According to The Atlantic, Pringles consist of 42 percent potato, along with vegetable oil, rice flour, wheat starch, maltodextrin, salt, and dextrose making up the other 58 percent. Hey, it sounds like a party to us.

According to Gizmodo, a rather involved process goes into creating Pringles' striking, stackable shape. Unlike other potato chip brands, Pringles are made with a mixture of potato flakes, rice, wheat, and corn, which is rolled out into super-thin layers and then cut into an oval shape.

The excess paste is then removed from the raw dough and subsequently placed on a conveyor belt. The chips are then shaped into the brand's signature arch with the help of a handy mold, and then they quickly pass through boiling oil. Once they're cooked, the chips are blown dry and sprayed with a powdered spice blend. Finally, the chips are flipped into a stackable position and shuttled into their tall cans before being sealed and shipped off.

As we mentioned, Pringles were invented to address the problem of potato chip's fragility and propensity for getting all busted up at the bottom of the bag. According to Snack History, the company first employed an organic chemist named Fred Baur to solve this issue. Baur spent two years using supercomputers to figure out the best possible size and shape for this inventive new chip and its groundbreaking tube-shaped packaging. The dimensions he settled on were aerodynamically designed to result in the least possible amount of breakage.

Of course, nobody's perfect. Baur reportedly got stumped on what particular flavor profile these chips should have, and Procter & Gamble subsequently enlisted researcher Alexander Liepa to pick up where he left off. According to Snack History,

"After over nearly a decade from the start of its development, Pringles potato chips were released to the public in the year 1967."

For that reason alone, 1967 was a very good year.

Interestingly, the machine that was used to create Pringles was designed by mechanical engineer and science fiction and fantasy writer Gene Wolfe. He said that the process of creating the machine that fills each Pringle can was so arduous, it nearly drove one team member mad, particularly since the powers that be were constantly asking for the production rate to be ramped up. Well, all that hard work was certainly worth the effort: Today, Pringles are enjoyed in more than 140 countries around the world. Show of hands: How many of you have the fever for the flavor of a Pringle?

#Pringles #Chips

Read full article: https://www.mashed.com/209184/the-real-reason-pringles-arent-actually-potato-chips/

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