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crisps

Crisp Packets are full of air

article by Elisabeth

William Park wrote an article about the air in crisp bags. He quoted the feature of artist Henry Hargreaves. They are both fed up with this wasted space. They are also irritated with the little quantity of crisps  and they were constantly disappointed with the value for money. 

"My  hypothesis was there might be 50% air in the worst offenders" H. Hargreaves said.

In fact, bags of crisps are filled with Nitrogen because the Oxygen of atmospheric air would cause the crisps to go soft. With Nitrogen, the crisps have a longer shelf-life and seem to be tastier.

In 2012, the UK  crisp Manufacturers Walkers came in for some stick on Twitter and some consumers have found as few as five crisps in a single bag. Walkers answered that the air is necessary to protect the product during manufacture and transit and to accomodate for changes in atmospheric pressure.

Hargreaves found that the bags which had the most air also had the most breakage.He also found that the most efficient way to transport them is to vacuum-seal them.

The extra air increases the numbers of crisp bags. So about 86 out of 100 trucks carrying the bags don’t need to be on the road. It is bad for the environment.

Hargreaves said that Pringles would be the best value for money because it’s a tube filled with chips. But still there is too much air in them and it’s difficult to get all the crisps at the top of the tube.

To solve all these issues (value for money, air quantity, Carbon footprint…), it would be better not to eat crisps at all as they are bad for health (too much salt and fat). Consumers always have the opportunity to boycott the product which does not give them satisfaction. But they never use this solution.

 

Glossary

crisps thin slices of baked or fried potato, eaten as a snack
chips
chips
  to waste to consume uselessly
gaspiller
gaspiller
Nitrogen a gas that comprises 80% of our athmosphere
azote
azote
  Oxygen a gas that we need, to breathe
oxygène
oxygène
breakage amount of broken product
casse
casse
  shelf-life the life-span of a product on the shelf before it is consumed
durée de vie
durée de vie
to vacuum-seal to seal (usually in plastic) with no air in the bag
emballer sous vide
emballer sous vide
  Carbon footprint the amount of Carbon used to produce something
empreinte carbone
empreinte carbone
   
     
 

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revised :  / published : / created : January 2016

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