Most of us go through our lives eating potato chips without ever stopping to think about the bag that they come in. Potato chip bags? Well, I`m not going to explain to you why those bags are only half full but rather why the packaging itself is far more interesting than is apparent at first glance. You see, everybody knows that the packaging does have a significant impact on the taste of the food (amongst other things like the longevity and the marketability of the product)
When you take a moment to consider the many functions that chip packaging must provide, the complexity of the bag and its materials actually makes a lot of sense. The bag must be able to protect the contents from environmental moisture; otherwise, you`d have soggy chips every time you packed a bag in your lunchbox with an icepack or cold drink. On the other hand, you don`t want grease leaking through the bag and getting all over the place. And let`s not forget that fats are very vulnerable to absorbing unwanted odors and tastes.
The reason why those bags are rather complex is because they are supposed to keep contaminants and moisture outside while simultaneously preventing the leaching of it`s own components. So how exactly are they doing it? With multiple layers of polymer materials. The bag itself consists of various layers of polymers and a thin layer of aluminum foil which acts as an oxygen barrier.
Potato chips packaging needs to be strong enough to withstand normal handling, but still be easy to open when you`re ready to dig in. All the materials used must be food-safe and approved by the government, so they have to be things that won`t leach chemicals into the chips. To top it all off, the package design has to be attractive and informative so that consumers will choose your brand of potato chips out of the dozens of options available.