• blanching;
  • cooking;
  • frying;
  • kinetics;
  • potato;
  • texture

ABSTRACT:  A kinetic model based on 2 irreversible serial chemical reactions has been proposed to fit experimental data of texture changes during thermal processing of potato products. The model links dimensionless maximum force F*MAX with processing time. Experimental texture changes were obtained during frying of French fries and potato chips at different temperatures, while literature data for blanching/cooking of potato cubes have been considered. A satisfactory agreement between experimental and predicted values was observed, with root mean square values (RMSs) in the range of 4.7% to 16.4% for French fries and 16.7% to 29.3% for potato chips. In the case of blanching/cooking, the proposed model gave RMSs in the range of 1.2% to 17.6%, much better than the 6.2% to 44.0% obtained with the traditional 1st-order kinetics. The model is able to predict likewise the transition from softening to hardening of the tissue during frying.