How many times have we been annoyed whenever we open a bag of chips? For some strange and -magical- reason, there is more air in the bag than chips. How many times do we feel ripped-off whenever we open that big, empty bag of chips? Why isn’t the regulating bodies punish these -evil- companies for doing so? Is there some kind of a conspiracy as to why government officials overlooked this age old mystery? Why it is there and what purpose does it serve? And why am I asking so many questions? Actually, the air inside the bag of chips serves multiple purposes. To know its purpose, first, let’s look at how the chips were actually packaged.
The overall packaging process is fairly simple and usually takes 1-2 seconds per bag. After frying and adding of flavors, the chips are sent to a bagging machine. The chips are put in a foil bag to keep the moisture and keep the chips fresh. Nitrogen gas is then blown inside the bag. The bag is then vacuum sealed by using heat sealing machines.
Air as Protection
The air inside a potato chips bag is not only there to make the bag look big. The air actually protects the chips from being crushed because of the air pressure the air-tight seal creates.. The more chips there are, more air is required to keep it safe. You are not being cheated in any way since the air inside the bag does not affect its weight. And as a running joke in the industry, it is said that -the air is healthier than the chips- from a dietician’s point of view. This kind of packaging is also used for various products such as cereals, marshmallows and other delicate products.
Way back then, I always felt cheated whenever I open a bag of chips. But since I learned of the actual reason why there is more air in the bag than chips, I began to see the underlying genius of it. Rather than using a hard box like Pringles, they utilized air to protect the product, thus saving materials and costs of packaging. We should learn to appreciate the air inside the bag because, if not for it, we will all be eating crumbs of fried potatoes.