Chips and crackers are a huge business throughout the world. Throughout the day, a majority of Americans will have at least one of these items during a meal or snack. With such a huge industry built around these items, there are some key terms associated with chips and crackers that you should learn if you're going to cross paths with these companies in business. Here's a smattering of the terms bandied about in the chip and cracker industry.
Trans fatTrans fat is a form of unsaturated fat that contains at least one double bond between carbon atoms. In relation to chips and crackers, trans fat is created when oil is hydrogenated. This process gives chips, crackers and other snacks a longer shelf life. Recently, many companies have tried to greatly reduce or eliminate trans fat from their products.
MSGMSG stands for monosodium glutamate. Produced through the process of fermentation, MSG is said to enhance the flavors of food. It is a common ingredient in crackers and chips.
Enriched flourEnriched flour is a base component of many crackers that are currently on the market. It refers to flour that has been fortified and enriched with vitamins or other components that were lost while it was prepared.
Color additive, food dyeA color additive refers to the food dye that a cracker or chip manufacturer may add to its product to enhance the final color. Originally regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in 1906, there are only seven color additives or food dyes allowed in the United States. These additives may be mixed together to form the desired color.
FDA has extensive information on color additives and food dyes. The International Foodcraft Corporation also explores the subject in detail.
Sunflower oilBoasting more vitamin E than any other oil used for frying, sunflower oil is produced from the seed of the sunflower. The shell is cracked, the seed extracted and then crushed. This releases the oil, while the rest of the seed pulp is thrown away. Sunflower oil has become quite popular in the chip and cracker industry because of its health benefits.
National Sunflower Association discusses three types of sunflower oil.
Shelf lifeShelf life refers to the time from when the potato chip, cracker or other food item is packaged and sealed until it will spoil. In the potato chip and cracker industry, companies strive for a long shelf life for their products.
Virginia Cooperative Extension has an extensive discussion of shelf life.