Plantain Chips Process in Nigeria
Banana or plantain chips are generally eaten as snack food. It can be produced from green and slightly ripen green plantain with yellow patch, and fried to almost bone dry with golden yellow colouration
The basic unit operations of plantain chips machine involved in plantain chips production is:
Sorting: This involves inspection of plantain fingers to identify and remove unsuitable ones i.e. spoilt, low pulp sugar or immature pulps.
Weighing: The sorted plantains are properly weighed to quantify input of raw plantain.
Trimming/Peeling: The plantain peels are removed manually using sharp knives to obtain the pulp
Slicing: The pulp is sliced into 5mm cylindrical slices using a plantain slicer.
Salting: The plantain slices are steeped in 2% table salt solution in plastic vat for about 5-10 minutes to potentiate the taste of the fried plantain, to serve as preservative against microbial growth and to maintain the colour by avoiding browning effect.
Draining: After salting, the plantain slices are drained of salt solution using plastic or metal (stainless steel) sieve.
Frying: The drained plantain slices are fried into plantain chips fryer in hot vegetable oil or a mixture of vegetable oils (impregnated with anti-oxidant) at 110-120℃ for 2-5 minutes to achieve adequate frying (without traces of undesirable browning) giving a brownish-yellow colour chips.
Cooling: The fried plantain chips are allowed to cool to the ambient temperature by natural air cooling method. Adequate cooling prevents moisture condensation on the packaging material.
Packaging: The chips are packaged in printed 100g cellophane packs or sachets and heat sealed to retain desirable crispiness of the chips throughout their shelf-life. The sachets are packaged in cartons of fifty.
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