Plantain chips are crunchy and favored snacks made with either ripe or unripe plantains.
PLANTAIN CHIPS INGREDIENTS
Ripe or unripe plantain
Vegetable Oil for frying
Salt to taste
I will take you through a step by step process of converting plantains into plantain chips so that you can get all the vital points.
The production process for plantain chips is given below:
STEP 1: SORTING OR DE-FINGERING OF PLANTAIN
This involves inspection of plantain fingers to identify and remove unsuitable ones i.e. spoilt, low pulp, or immature pulps. The good ones are then staked in dozens and thereafter de-fingered from the bunch in each batch.
STEP 2: COUNTING OF PLANTAIN FINGERS
The plantain fingers are counted in batches of 100 fingers. This is the first data to be captured for a thorough monitored process.
STEP 3: WASHING AND PEELING OF PLANTAINS
The plantains are washed in warm or cool water to remove dirt and to make the process of peeling easier. After washing, the plantain peels are removed manually using sharp knives or mechanically using specially designed machines to obtain the pulp. Average peeling time using manual method for a batch of 100 fingers is 35-45minutes.
Peeling of Plantains using manual method
STEP 4: WEIGHING
The peeled plantains are properly weighed on the measuring scale in 100s (just as it was counted before peeling) to quantify the input of raw plantain. This is the second data to be captured.
STEP 5: SLICING
The peeled plantains are sliced into 2mm – 3mm cylindrical slices depending on your thickness preference using a manual or electrical slicer. It takes about 32 to 40mins (using a manual slicer) for each batch (100 fingers) of the peeled plantains to be sliced.
Note: The peeled plantains can also be sliced into different shapes depending on your target market and preference.
STEP 6: PORTIONING OF SLICED PLANTAIN FOR FRYING
The sliced plantain is weighed into smaller portions depending on the size of your pot or deep fryer. An average of between 2kg – 4kg is sufficient for most pot or deep fryer sizes. This pre-measurement promotes even frying and colour.
Side note: good content is everything. I cannot over reiterate it. Ensure you get your process right, work on various flavors and spices, and experiment until you are satisfied.
STEP 7: ADDITIVES
A pre-measured quantity of suitable additives such as salt and sweetener depending on your taste objective is added to the plantain portions and mixed thoroughly to potentiate the taste of the fried plantain. These additives serve as a preservative against microbial growth and also add flavor to the chips.
STEP 8: FRYING
The plantain slices are then fried into chips in hot vegetable oil at a given temperature and stirred continuously over a period of time about 20 – 30mins per batch to achieve adequate frying (without traces of undesirable browning) giving a brownish-yellow colour plantain-chips.
Remove the fried plantain chips from the pot into a sieve to de-oil naturally or using a de-oiling machine.
STEP 9: ADD POST FRYING CONDIMENTS AND COOL
The fried plantain is spiced immediately after frying and allowed to completely de-oil. The chips are then transferred to a cooling station such as a flat stainless steel or plastic table to cool completely before packing. Adequate cooling prevents moisture condensation on the packaging material.
Sidenote: ensure you take the last data on weight after frying. It will be used to calculate your percentage derivative alongside input weight. An ideal percentage derivative should be 50%.
Weighing After Frying (Plantain chips)
STEP 10: PACKAGING
This is essential for protection, preservation, and promotion.
The chips can be packed in clean plastic jars or printed cellophane packs or sachets depending on the packaging method you choose with reference to your target market. It is heat-sealed to retain the desirable crispiness of the chips throughout their shelf-life of about 6 months. It should be stored in a cool and dry place.
Side note: good packaging is what will put all your hard work on good chips production on the radar. If you want your plantain chips to stand out amongst the competition, you want packaging and necessary product regulations such as NAFDAC, barcode, production dates, and expiry dates that will draw the consumer’s attention.
STEP 11: MARKETING AND SALES
After all your diligence and hard work, you want some profit or satisfaction from your labour. This is where you dot all your “Is” and cross all your “Ts”. And as they say, before you embark on a journey, know your destination.
It is important you know how you want to sell your plantain chips.
STEP 12: RECORD KEEPING
Record keeping is very essential in business management, however, many entrepreneurs relegate this task. This involves the documentation of your daily activities for future reference and analysis. The following records should be kept: production records, sales records, expense, bin card, financial transactions, etc. These records are valuable to determine the viability of the business and forecast the future for the business.
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Thanks for the tutorial
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