BACKGROUND: In commercial deep-fat frying of potato chips, the oil content of the final products ranges from 35 to 45 g 100 g−1 (wet basis). High-temperature frying may cause the formation of acrylamide, making the products unhealthy to the consumer. The aim of this research was to explore a new method, spouted bed microwave drying, to produce healthier puffed snack potato cubes as possible alternatives to oil-fried potato chips. The influence of drying conditions of the spouted bed microwave drying on puffing characteristics of potato cubes were studied and compared with the direct microwave and hot air drying method.
RESULTS: Tandem combination drying of microwave-enhanced spouted bed drying (MWSB) could achieve a good expansion ratio, breaking force and rehydration ratio. The puffing characteristics of potato cubes were significantly affected (P < 0.05) by moisture content before starting microwave power in spouted bed microwave drying, by microwave (MW) power, and by the original size of potato cubes.
CONCLUSION: The optimum processing parameters were the moisture content at the start of microwave power (60%), the size of potato cubes (10–12 mm), and microwave power (2–2.5 W g−1) Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry