Review industry terminology by choosing a selection here. Click on a letter below to take you to the specific potato term you're looking for or scroll through the full alphabet to learn even more.
- Automatic defect removal equipment.
- A/V Oil
- A blend of animal and vegetable oils for use in frying product.
- Ambient Cooling
- The use of filtered outside air to lower product temperatures after frying, but prior to freezing.
- An inherent specific quality characteristic (such as color, texture, defects and so on.)
- Barrel Washer
- A large, revolving drum with high-pressure water sprays used to remove any peel left on the potatoes after steam peeling.
- A flavored coating applied to the product during processing that provides increased heat retention, crisper texture and enhanced flavor.
- Part of the process in which potato products are exposed to hot water or steam to improve texture characteristics. There are three types:
- Immersion Blanch: The most common method used in the french fry process. A two to three step procedure of total water immersion used to inactivate enzymes, leach sugars and partially cook the product.
- Deluge Blanch: A method that involves showering the potato with a high volume of hot water to inactivate enzymes, leach sugars and partially cook the product.
- Steam Blanch: A method used in the french fry process to both blanch and restore surface moisture. The steam blanch minimizes water contact, thereby leaving the natural sugars and flavors in the potatoes.
- A stainless steel tank in which the blanching process occurs.
- Budget Fry
- A commodity-type fry item that is typically low in potato solids and high in water content and short in length. Quality and consistency vary greatly.
- The small black specks of over-fried potato matter that have accumulated in the fryer. The frying oil is filtered continuously to remove carbon, but occasionally a small amount will adhere to a french fry. Carbon is only on the surface of the fry and looks very much like pepper.
- Applied to the product during processing. May be in the form of a batter or seasoning. Provides improved heat retention performance by acting as an insulation barrier.
- The overall hue of the products in frozen and reconstituted states. The color reference guide is the USDA Color Standards prepared by the Munsell Color Company.
- Variation: Strips substantially darker or lighter than the predominate color of the sample.
- Mottling: Localized concentrations of reducing sugars darker than the predominate color appearing intermittently on french fry strips.
- Brightness: Brightness or intensity of the overall color hue.
- Refers to the outside texture of a cooked product.
- Cut Size
- The size and mass of a particular fry item.
- Control Limits
- Maximum or minimum levels allowed for individual quality attributes.
- Potato products that can consist of diced and/or shredded potato pieces that are produced concurrently with french fries.
- A general term for a variety of blemishes that detract from the appearance of the product. USDA standards define and classify defects into such categories as critical, major, minor and insignificant, depending on their size and degree of discoloration (for example, light or dark).
- Loss of moisture; a reference to excessive drying which sometimes results from the french fry process which usually affects the tips and/or edges of fries. Typically seen as blistering on the surface of a fry.
- Weight per unit volume. Most often used in reference to potato flakes, whose density is expressed in pounds per cubic foot.
- A water transfer phase in the blanch process step in which additives such as dextrose or SAPP are applied to the product.
- A processing step that removes moisture from potato strips by forced air heating. It also affects the development of external texture depending on the time and temperature of the dry step.
- Small potatoes eliminated from the french fry line and used for other products, such as hash browns, formed potato products, and flakes.
- Evenflow Bin
- Holding bin in the plant that delivers the raw product to the processing line at an adjustable rate.
- A series of parallel cuts on one edge of a french fry strip caused by a crisp potato vibrating as it goes through a water gun knife.
- Formed Product
- Potato products that are formed into shapes from diced and/or shredded potato pieces that are produced concurrently with french fries.
- Freeze Tunnel
- A long refrigerated chamber that freezes fried potato products as they are conveyed through it.
- Refers to the systems and criteria used by the government and the industry to grade frozen fry products. Grading takes into account color, texture, defects, length and solids. Grades levels are: PXLF, XLF, LF, FA and B.
- Development of green pigment in the potato skin and flesh, caused by exposure to natural or artificial light.
- Heat Retention
- The length of time that a sample remains hot after reconstitution. Larger cut styles and coated products generally retain their heat longer.
- Holding Time
- The length of time that a properly reconstituted product retains optimum texture characteristics.
- Hollow Heart
- A conspicuous cavity at the center of a potato tuber. Most prevalent in large, over-size tubers.
- Individually quick frozen, generally not fried, primarily hashbrowns or shreds.
- Lamb Gun Tube
- A tapered tube that aligns potatoes to feed directly into the center of the Lamb Water Gun Knife.
- Lamb Water Gun Knife
- The french fry slicer invented and patented in 1960 by company founder F. Gilbert Lamb. Potatoes are propelled in a stream of water through a grid of knives. This method is now the standard of the industry.
- Lamb Weston
- The brand you can count on.
- Removal of the natural sugars in potatoes via water blanching.
- Refers to minimum requirements and maximum allowances in a french fry sample for specific length categories – by percentage of total sample.
- Percent over 4 inch: Can be a minimum or maximum requirement.
- Percent over 3 inch: Primarily a minimum requirement.
- Percent under 2 inch: A maximum allowable tolerance.
- Percent Shorts: A maximum tolerance for strips between 1/2 and 1 inch.
- Metal Detector
- The piece of equipment used to detect and remove any bags containing metal.
- The improper treatment of products during any aspect of their product life, including distribution, receiving, storage, and inventory control, cooking and holding.
- Natural Sugars
- Sugars that occur naturally in raw potatoes, which are mainly composed of reducing sugars resulting in a brown color in fried potato products. At low storage temperatures, starch will convert to sugar. As the temperature increases above 50 degrees F, some sugar will convert back to starch.
- The amount of cased product over the stated net weight.
- Oil Absorption/Oil Usage
- The amount of cooking oil absorbed by the product during reconstitution.
- Oil Breakdown
- The process of the reduction of fryer oil quality and life span caused by many factors, including oxidation, exposure to water, exposure to carbon particles, lack of filtering and skimming, etc.
- The cooking of a fry item longer than its manufacturer recommended time limit, causing the fry to become darker in color, develop a hollow, tough texture and take on "off-flavors".
- Parfry Color
- The color of fries as they are packaged, but before final cooking by the consumer.
- Parfry (Partial Fry)
- The processing step in which product is immersed in hot oil to complete the development of texture and color, and to achieve solids requirements.
- Parfry Oil
- The oil absorbed into the product during processing, expressed as a percentage of the total weight of a given quantity of product.
- Parfry Solids
- The solids content of the parfried product, expressed as a percentage of the total weight of a given product. Parfry solids are composed of starch and oil.
- Plate Coverage
- Consumer perception of serving size, can be enhanced by specialty cuts.
- Potato Lot
- A batch of potatoes with a homogeneous set of characteristics that make them suitable to be processed in the same manner. A lot may be one grower's production, one storage shed, a single field, or a received bag of product.
- A hot water system that heats the tubers to reduce feathering or shattering when cut.
- Product Specification:
- A set of standards that define a given product concept. Plant product specifications are met by manufacturing the product according to prepared budgets and quality specifications.
- Quality Control
- The regulating process through which we measure actual quality performance, compare it to standards, and act on the differences.
- Raw Product
- Raw potatoes.
- Raw Product Recovery
- The percentage of raw product, by weight, entering the process that becomes usable, finished product.
- Recovery Curve
- A measurement of the ability of a fryer to recover back to the starting oil temperature after product has been cooked.
- The final reconstitution of frozen parfried potato products at the restaurant, foodservice kitchen or home.
- Refry Oil
- The total oil content of the product after reconstitution, expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the sample.
- Refry Solids
- The total solids content of the product after reconstitution expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the sample. Refry solids are composed of starch and oil.
- Product destined for direct sale to the ultimate consumer, generally packaged in poly bags and sold individually.
- Cooling and equilibration before forming in chopped and formed process.
- Russet Burbank
- A variety of potato particularly suited for french fry processing because of its cylindrical shape, high solids and low sugars.
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, or chemically, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate. An additive used to enhance and brighten color and help prevent after-cooking darkening.
- The acceptability of a specific quality characteristic as defined in the product specification. A characteristic is considered scoreable if it meets the specified definition. Generally used in classifying texture units.
- Seasoned/Coated Fry:
- A fry product with a coating of seasonings, batters or breading applied during processing. (See batter and coating.)
- Spices and flavorings added in a consistent coating to give products a distinct flavor profile and appearance.
- Second Fry
- Menu placement of an additional fry.
- Seed Potatoes
- Potatoes used in planting, which must be government-certified as disease free. They are usually grown in very cold climates which deep freeze to maintain soil sterility.
- A variety of potato used for french fries which matures faster than the Russet Burbank and which is used in early season production.
- Strips 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length that are both counted in the Under 2 inch category, as well as itemized separately into the "shorts" category.
- Length calculated into specific categories as a percentage by count of the total count of all strips in a sample.
- Over 4 inches.
- Over 3 inches (includes strips over 4 inches as well).
- 2 to 3 inches.
- Less than 2 inches, (includes shorts).
- Shorts: strips 1/2 to 1 inch.
- Slivers: strips with less than 1/3 of the length of a full sized strip of equal length.
- The practice of removing particles of food and other foreign matter from the oil in a deep fat fryer. Skimming lengthens oil life, minimizes flavor transfer and improves overall cooking performance.
- Finished products produced without removing the peel.
- Allowing frozen product to thaw prior to final reconstitution.
- A french fry strip of substantially smaller average cross-section dimensions than the predominate size of the strip. By definition, strips with less than 1/3 the weight of a full sized strip of equal length.
- Potato solids include starch, protein, minerals, natural sugars, and, after processing, oil. Generally, the higher the solids content in a fry product, the greater number of servings (higher yield).
- Sugar End
- Ends on strips that are a USDA No.3 color or darker, visible on three or more sides, and 1/4" or longer down the side of the strip. Caused by high concentrations of natural sugars usually concentrated at the stem end of a potato.
- Sugar Solution
- A liquid sugar solution that may be sprayed on the product between the blancher and dryer if color darkening is required.
- Sugar Tip
- Strips that do not meet the sugar end criteria.
- Encompasses the look and feel of both the external crust and internal potato matter in the refried product. Good texture describes a crisp crust, with a mealy internal appearance similar to a baked potato. Poor texture describes a weak, oil-soaked crust, with a raw and/or wet internal appearance.
- Thermal Abuse:
- Damage to the frozen product caused by thawing and refreezing of frozen product that occurs in the distribution channels. Signs of thermal abuse are large ice crystals on the product, frozen clusters or clumps, and wet bags or cases.
- Any variety of potato.
- The cooking of a fry item less than its manufacturer recommended time limit, causing the fry to become limp and greasy, be light and transparent, and absorb excess oil.
- Urschel Cutter
- A rotating drum of knives that slice the tubers in two dimensions to produce the cut strips. Primarily used for crinkle cuts.
- The United States Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for setting national quality standards for agricultural products.
- A customer-based measure of product performance and profitability relative to the expected number of servings per unit of frozen weight.
- Yield by Serving (Volume)
- The number of servings per unit weight, for example: servings per pound, servings by case, or servings per hundred pound frozen weight.
- Yield by Weight
- The percentage of refried weight to parfry weight. The percentage of weight remaining after the product is correctly fried.