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The real reason why crisp packets are inflated

The real reason why crisp packets are inflated

Some people are convinced it's too reduce the amount of crisps in there, but it's not just a crafty way of cutting costs

Have you ever wondered why crisp packets are inflated? Well, wonder no more. Watch here:

Over the years, people have become convinced that their favourite snacks and their portion sizes have been getting smaller - and in many cases they have.

However, crisp packets aren't just inflated to make them look more full than they are, and there's actually a good reason for it.

As highlighted by TikToker @sherifelsahly, the packets actually contain nitrogen, which is designed to help protect the precious crisps from getting crushed, while also retaining freshness.

The Walkers website, for example, states: "Our packets of crisps are filled by weight. You should always find that the packets weigh the grammage stated on the packet.

"However, there is a very good reason for the packets not being filled right to the top. Crisps are very fragile and can get crushed very easily.

Some crisps with all that air, per chance?
TQS/Alamy Stock Photo

"To try and prevent this from happening, we put air in the packs before they are sealed to act as a cushion for the product during transit. This does mean that the packets have to be a bit bigger than the contents."

While Popchips explain: "Our special air-tight bags help make sure Popchips stay fresh and crispy."

But with all this said, skepticism about the amount of air in your crisp packet is probably justified.

In 2017, CDA Appliances decided to delve deep into the amount of air in crisp packets, and the study found a huge range of difference in the amount of air in each brand's crisps bags.

At the top end, Popchips were found to be 72 percent air, while at the other end of the scale, Wotsits came in at 18 percent.

Across the 15 different products sampled, the average air content came in at 54 percent, but with such a great range you can't help but feel a bit skeptical about how science-centred the decision-making behind this is.

Artist Henry Hargreaves carried out similar research in 2015, and beyond the infuriation caused by opening a surprisingly empty packet of crisps, he criticised the 'big carbon footprint' that could be created by unnecessarily inflated crisp packets.

Responding to the CDA investigation, a spokesperson for The Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers Association said manufacturers are required to minimise excess packaging.

Some packets are more airy than others.

They said: "In addition to preventing staleness, the inserted gas also provides the added benefit of creating a cushioning effect to protect the fragile contents of a packet from damage.

"The packaging expands or contracts depending on the ambient temperature, whereby the gas present in the pack will fill a larger volume when it's hotter, and a smaller volume when it's cooler.

"For this reason, the packaging is required to be of a certain size to accommodate the potential expansion of the gas. UK manufacturers are legally governed by Packaging Essential Requirements to minimise excess packaging and can be challenged legally to justify packs which are larger than 'best in class'."

Featured Image Credit: Chris Bull/Parmorama/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Food And Drink