What are potato chips made of?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “What are potato chips made of?”. Furthermore, we will discuss some myths regarding potato chips, health benefits and disadvantages of potato chips.

What are potato chips made of?

Potato chips are made of whole, raw potato slices. The thickness of these potato slices must be between 0.035 to 0.070. While cutting potatoes to make their slices, these cuts can be straight, grooved, flat surfaces or crinkled, but all of these must be uniform.   

What is the history of potato chips?

Potato chips were invented by George Crum. He was a renowned chef of Native American and Black heritage. He took umbrage at the request, sliced potatoes and then fried them. After making crisp chips, these were presented to Vanderbilt. Potato chips got praise from Vanderbilt. These potato chips have become common now. 

How to choose potatoes for making chips?

While making chips, the following properties of potatoes must be kept in mind.

  • The colour and texture of potatoes must be carefully analysed. If the colour of potatoes is black, they must not be used. The texture must be smooth. Three main constituents which decide the texture of potatoes are non-starch polysaccharides, lignin and starch.
  • The shape of the potatoes must be longer. These long shaped potatoes are easy to cut. These potatoes must be fluffy from the inside so that they are boiled efficiently.
  • These potatoes must be fresh, firm and non-sprouted russet. Soaking potatoes in ice water is preferred as it helps to remove the starch content of potatoes, making them crispy.

Do potatoes undergo physical change while these are fried?

Yes, potatoes undergo physical change while they are fried. An amino acid known as asparagine is present in raw potatoes. During frying at high temperatures, a reaction between sugar and amino acids takes place. This chemical reaction is known as the Maillard reaction. Due to this reaction, the flavour and colour of potatoes change. Acrylamide is produced as a result of this reaction.

What are the myths about potato chips?

These myths are very common regarding potato chips:

Acne: It is a common myth that eating potato chips lead to acne. This is not true at least when potato chips are eaten in moderation.

Potatoes and fries are the same regarding nutrition: Although fries are potatoes too. But during the process of frying, potatoes lose some of their nutrients. Furthermore, some dextrose and preservatives are used for potato chips.

Potato chips are non-toxic: Some people who claim that potato chips don’t cause any harm to the body are wrong. Frying enhances the amount of acrylamide in potato chips. Acrylamide is a neurotoxin that causes cancer and some other illnesses. That’s why pregnant women are not allowed to eat potato chips.

Potato chips cause breast cancer: Due to the presence of acrylamide, it was thought that it causes breast cancer. However, a study was carried out that demonstrated there is no correlation between potato chips and breast cancer.

What are the health benefits of potato chips?

Vitamins: Numerous vitamins are packed in potato chips. These vitamins and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus are very crucial to maintaining normal body functions. Besides these vitamin B6, vitamin B3, copper and manganese are also present in potato chips.

Presence of fibres: A sufficient amount of fibres is present in potato chips. These dietary fibres are very helpful in losing weight. These keep us full for a longer period thus aiding in losing weight.

Good for skin: Potato chips act as anti-inflammatory agents. Thus these give us protection against inflammation. Furthermore, these help us against the negative effects of pollution and the sun.

Metabolism: Potato chips provide us with vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential in the regulation of metabolism. Vitamin B6 helps to break down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. Our body can easily assimilate these small components.

What are the drawbacks of eating potato chips?

Some drawbacks of eating potato chips are as follows. Due to these drawbacks, people are advised not to eat potato chips.

Blood pressure: High consumption of potato chips leads to an increase in blood pressure. Due to this high blood pressure, some other diseases like heart attack and stroke become common. 

Hypertension: A study has shown that consumption of Potato chips is associated with hypertension. This is due to the high level of sodium present in potato chips.

Risk of infertility: High amount of trans-fat present in potato chips can cause infertility in women. This trans-fat also causes some other complications in both men and women.

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

What happens if you eat raw potatoes? 

How many baby potatoes per person? 

What is a potato ricer substitute?


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “What are potato chips made of?”. Furthermore, we have discussed some myths regarding potato chips, health benefits and disadvantages of potato chips.




Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.