The entire process from potato to frozen fry is becoming increasingly automated. Why? Machines are more reliable and faster. They see things more clearly and are better at registering defects, resulting in fewer imperfections.
Optimal devices lead to greater control during processing, for example. The ideal moment to intervene or modify if something is not exactly the way it should be. Think of the length of the fries or the temperature of the freezing process. Because once a fry has been frozen, there isn’t much that can be done.
Nonetheless, frozen fries also go through an intensive assessment via a number of strict lab tests. Lamb Weston takes this very seriously, because the final product must meet all the requirements of a perfect fry.
This is how it works: lab workers regularly pick up a deep-frozen sample from the production line. A fixed quantity of the final product is removed from its packaging. After this, there is a visual check. Humans visually check for imperfections and other defects (damage and/or abnormalities).
Afterwards, we fry them, just like in catering services, but always a fixed weight, a fixed time and a fixed temperature. Once they’re done, the fries are temporarily placed under a heating light and kept there for a short period to simulate a restaurant situation. After this, we conduct a colour check, and finally, as the final check, the so-called hand and mouth tests. In other words, the sensory test of the texture. Do they feel good and are they tasty? How well done are they? Are they crunchy enough?
Barely any waste
In the event of deviations, we immediately implement changes to improve the production process. If, in exceptional cases, deviations fall outside of the allowed margins, we separate the rejected batch. Such batches are used for different purposes, because at Lamb Weston, nothing is wasted unnecessarily. In fact, we use an impressive 99.9% of every potato! In other words, we barely have any waste.
Gourmet burger restaurants
In this way, thousands of freshly frozen potato products leave the conveyer belt to find their way to our customers, which range from gourmet burger restaurants to tapas bars and chicken concepts. We invest as much attention to the quality of our products as to how restaurants can serve their customers the perfect fry. This is why we advise independent chefs on how to achieve this.