Why is there so much air in a bag of potato chips?

The disappointment is underrated — to open a bag of chips, and find an underwhelming bits of crumbs at the bottom of a huge packet.


potato chips air

Photo credit: quotesgram.com


ha ha very funny, but there better be a better reason for pumping so much air into my bag of chips other than for me to go diving with it!

Thankfully, with some research, I found out that the air in potato chip bags is not completely useless.


Increase shelf life

The air in our chip bags is no ordinary air. It is actually filled with nitrogen to increase shelf life of the chips and keep them tasting fresh! Nitrogen is basically used as protective gas to keep oxygen level low (< 2%), as too much oxygen and moisture will lead to bacterial growth and oxidation. Nitrogen is often used instead of other gases because of its dry, inert qualities.

Or you basically bought a bag of air, but you can’t even dive with it because it’s not oxygen.


potato chips

Photo credit: www.handystorefixtures.com


Cushioning the chips

The additional air may be pumped in to prevent potato chips from becoming potato crumbs during production and shipping. However, it’s mainly because the size and shape of chips make it difficult for dense packaging. On the other hand, corn chips, tortilla chips, cookies, et cetera are made in shapes that allow them to be more densely packed.

That said, let’s also not forget that Pringles was able to come up with their own unique way of manufacturing, which produce little breakage of chips in their cans, and without pumping in so much air. Yay Pringles!



Photo credit: brobible.com


Air-tight check

Nobody likes their chips to go soft. The fully pumped packets of chips make it easier for consumers to know if they’re being sealed well!


Bigger size

But of course, it’s all part of product marketing. The air in the chip bags gives an illusion of a bigger packet. Bigger packet = more chips. More chips = happier customers. But hey chips companies, the short lived happiness only leads to bigger disappointment and heartache later.


So… who has the most air?

Bad news for Doritos and Lays chips lovers. Both bags were found to contain 86% air and only 14% chips!

But think of it another way; you technically paid for flavoured air, and even got some chips for free. 🙂



Photo credit: myhalfassedkitchen.blogspot.com


Bottom line

While some extra air in the bag can help keep potato chips fresh and in one piece, I’m just not sure if that much is necessary. (I’m thinking no.)

Although you may not be able to go diving with the air in your bag of chips, good news is that you can make a boat out of it!


potato chips boat

potato chips boat

Photo credit: blogs.wsj.com


That’s right.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *