“Stealth” French Fries Stay Fresh And Hot

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Daniel Y. Go

French fries are facing a tasty crisis. It’s shown in many studies that french fries are pretty much good for an extremely short period of time out of the warm and toasty fryer. Because of these unreliable fries, food engineers and a variety of scientists decided to create a fry that lasts longer, tastes better, and is prepared to take on the future.

French fries are prepared by cutting the potatoes into even, thin strips. Then, they’re wiped off or soaked in water to remove the starch, then they are thoroughly dried. Potatoes fresh from the ground could have too high of a water content, which would result in a soggy fry, so it is preferable to use stored potatoes. Anyway, fryers are mostly used to cook potato strips. After a few minutes, take the fries out of the fryer and let them cool off for a while. Once cooled, it is safe to eat!

Despite the perplexing name, french fries aren’t even French. According to wonderopolis.org, “The origins of the French fry have been traced back to Belgium, where historians claim potatoes were being fried in the late-1600s. One Belgian story states that poor villagers living in Meuse Valley often ate small fried fish they caught in the river. During the winter months, the river would freeze over — making fishing impossible and forcing the villagers to find other sources of food. They turned to the potato, using the plant’s roots. Slicing and frying it much in the same way they prepared the fish. And just like that, the earliest French fries were welcomed to the world.

Back to the french fries fiasco, Deb Dihel, a food scientist, states, “I know how french fries are, and I know a lot about how long they last. So my fear was if people received cold or soggy or limp fries after they ordered them through a delivery service, they wouldn’t order french fries again.”

One potato company thought of a solution to this problem, a new special coating called stealth. Stealth is a coating that helps fries stay crispy and warm longer than an average fries, so instead of getting cold in 10 minutes, it could last up to 45 minutes until getting soggy.

Stealth was developed 20 to 25 years ago by Lamb Weston, it was a coating they applied to fries to get them to stay crispier longer, but this only lasted up to 15 minutes. Then Deb Dihel decided to take on the challenge of delivery. Before the coating was only used inside the restaurant, now it was being taken to the streets. The water that fries have in the middle of them, as they begin to sit out longer and longer the water starts to seep out of the French fry, making it soggy. So Deb had to figure out a way to slow down the speed the water came out of the fry.

Dihel began to mess around with different starches to create a wash that they cover the raw fries in before they cook them. They eventually got some fries to last 20 minutes, and then after a while, they got it to last 30 minutes but the coating was too thick, it didn’t look or feel like a normal french fries. There was another failed batch where the fries were too tough, then after two years of tinkering, they got a good batch of fries where the fries lasted 30 to 45 minutes.

Although stealth coating has not yet been put on the market, in a few months, stealth will finally be available for commercial use. You’ll no longer have to worry about your fries becoming soggy after being left out, you can finally enjoy 45 minutes of crispy deliciousness after frying.