Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hidden French Fry Costs

The potato is made up of two elements-water and potato solids. The raw potato used in making French Fries is, on average, made up of 80% water and 20% solids. These two factors are determined by several other factors. We will only be focusing on the two main and most important factors.

• Growing Conditions: When growing potatoes you must have proper soil conditions and strict agriculture practices, which refers to the tracking of fertilizer and pesticide applications to the crop. Water application and Mother Nature impact the potato size, solids and water content.

• Processing of Potato Products: With Low potato solids, a manufacturer can produce what is called a “budget fry”. A manufacturer can leave most of the moisture in the potato during the process. Water weighs more than potato solids, so with higher moisture content you will get less French Fry per case. Remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for?” in this case you get less!

A high solid French Fry is where the manufacturer has taken a majority of the moisture out of the French Fry before it is frozen and packaged. Remember, water is heavier than potato solids, so with more water removed, we will have more French Fries per pound, and more servings per case, which translates into more profit per case.

Also a dryer or higher solid potato takes less time to cook because there is less water to cook out. Less water means less contamination in the fryer oil and longer holding time.

A budget fry will cost you more in labor also because it is going to take longer to cook out the moisture, and it will require more fries to be cooked to equal what a higher solid fry would have produced.

We get additional servings by purchasing high quality fries, which equals less waste, more profit and happier more satisfied customers!

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