Sliced, thin and fried potato chips are very popular ready-to-eat snacks item. Potato is one of the easily available vegetables also. Potato chips making process is simple and involved simple machinery. Potato chips making business can be started as small scale basis also. With the ongoing growth of the population and rising urbanization, particularly among young people, packaged food such as packaged potato chips have very bright growth prospects.
The popularity of snack food is growing fast day-by-day and potato wafers have emerged as a clear favorite. Besides being used as a daily food item in various vegetable preparations, potato today increasingly finds use in the form of chips or wafers as snacks food. The potato chips and wafers are popular processed food items that give considerable value addition to potatoes.
Potato chips manufacturing can be done at a small-scale level as well as at large scale level. Capital investment depends on the level of the business. It can be done from a large factory as well as your own residence.
The main consumers of potato chips and wafers are families especially in urban and semi-urban areas. Besides, hotels, restaurants, canteens need potato chips in significant quantities.
Potato Chips Market Potential
In Nigeria around 12 million tonnes of potato is grown which is about 4% of the total world production However, the per capita consumption of potatoes is low. It is estimated that 25% of the potatoes, which is spoiled due to several reasons such as transportation, type of packing, availability of cold storage capacities during harvesting season, glut in the market etc. could be saved by making various preserved potato products. Potato chips is one of such products which has an immense potential as this is considered as one of the traditional food of Nigeria. Potato chips are needed to be made in a scientific manner and under hygienic conditions.
There is a huge demand to be met for potato chips in interior and remote places in Nigeria. It is a good idea to start small and develop the business locally or in a remote area before stepping into the big market, as setting up a large-scale plant will require a lot of capital investment.
In starting the business, you must have a business plan or project report in your hand. And according to your investment capacity, you will need to craft the project report. Additionally, the project report is a mandatory tool for applying for a bank loan.
Generally, a project report has two parts. One is mechanical and another is financial. It is advisable to ask an expert for preparing the business plan document for your proposed unit.
Raw Materials required:
- Edible Oil.
- Flavor & Spices
- Packaging Material
The total cost of raw materials depends on the usage of the company. To manufacture 100 kg potato chips, it should cost the entrepreneur around $1,000-2,000 approx. or even less, depending on the prices of the product in the area you are sourcing from. The better way would be to source the potatoes from the farmers directly, it will reduce the cost of raw materials considerably.
Potato Chips Manufacturing Legal Compliances
- First of all, register your business. This is the primary responsibility.
- Obtain Trade License
- Register your business with CAC and NAFDAC
- Finally, you can protect your brand name through Trademark registration
Potato Chips Manufacturing Plant & Equipment
You can start this manufacturing business with an area of 600 Sq Ft. In addition, you must provide utilities like electricity and water. Some of the basic required machines are
- Potato Peeling Machine
- Potato Chips Making Machines (With arrangement to adjust slice thickness)
- Hydro Dryer
- Potato Blanching Machine
- Deep Fat Fryer
- Salting Drum
- Vacuum Sealing Machine
- Weighing machine
- Industrial Oven (in case of baking the chips)
Potato Chips Manufacturing Process
Firstly, potatoes are sorted as per the requirement, the potatoes selected for wafers should be large oval shape free from disease and fully matured. It should have least number of eyes to cut down the losses by trimming.
Washing & Peeling:
Next, the potatoes are washed thoroughly in water and peeled manually with stainless steel peeler or with the help of an abrasive potato peeling machine, the skin is washed away with sprays of water. Then it is placed in water to prevent browning of the potatoes.
After peeling, they are sliced with the help of a slicing machine in to thin slices which are 0.4 to 0.5 cm thick. The slices are then immersed in cold water. If there is a delay in the next step, the slices are kept in water containing 0.05% potassium meta bi-sulfate to avoid oxidation.
After slicing, the potato slices are blanched for 3 to 5 minutes in boiling water and spread on trays. The inconsistent slices are removed from the batch and then it is moved to frying.
Drying & Frying:
Then the blanched potato slices are dried using spin dryer or hydro extractor to remove excess amount of moisture from the chips. Later, they are fried in Deep fat fryer at 1900 degree Celsius for 3-4 minutes. It is then kept on a sieve to cool and to remove excess of oil.
Once it is cooled, flavors like salt, spices etc. are sprayed on the chips as per required taste with the help of salting drums.
Lastly, the chips are sealed in a plastic bag with the help of vacuum sealing machines and packed in cardboard boxes, then delivered to the clients.
It can even be sold right after blanching and drying. The customers can fry it at their own convenience. The shelf life of the unfried chips are more than the fried chips. In this process, the flavors and spices are added after blanching but before drying.
*It can also be made as a healthy snack by baking the chips in industrial ovens instead of frying it in oil, which reduces the number of calories considerably. It will require an industrial oven for baking the chips.
The profit margin depends upon several factors, such as marketing cost, sourcing of materials, manufacturing cost etc. The profit margin in this business should be around 20-30%, that means if you sell 10 kg potato chips at $ 200, the profit will be of $ 40-60.
Investment & Finance:
The entrepreneur will require to invest in the business. The capital investment for a small-scale industry will be around 2-3million approx. One can even get finance through various sources like nationalized banks, private banks and financial institutions.
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