Food experts help establish team of taste specialists at North Lincolnshire crisp-makers

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 2 Aug 2017

Everyone knows crisp-making is big business in North Lincolnshire, with millions of packets being produced by Pipers in Elsham and Golden Wonder in Scunthorpe.

But few people know about the true heroes of the industry – the crisp tasters.

Over at Pipers, they have got the art down to a fine science.

Bosses at the Elsham factory drafted in food boffins from the University of Nottingham to help establish a team of in-house taste specialists.

MORE: Pipers Crisps bags a high five from Guild of Fine Food

Leading the project was Dr Deepa Agarwal, an expert in food structure, flavour and product development.

With the help of gas chromatrography mass spectroscopy, Dr Agarwal was able to optimise cooking temperatures and times to minimise waste and enhance shelf life, without compromising taste perfection.

The next step was to recruit the in-house tasters.

The chosen candidates had to have untapped expertise in hearing, taste, smell, touch and sight.

Eventually, a team from the boardroom down to the factory floor was drawn together.

In Scunthorpe, which has been producing crisps since 1947, Golden Wonder relies more on shop floor know-how and experience.

Each hour of a shift, two tasters test newly-cooked batches of crisps for flavour, texture, bite, crunch, chew, aroma and appearance.

MORE: Tributes to man who created Scunthorpe crisp industry

A company spokeswoman said: “It is their job to scrutinise our crisps for quality. We pride ourselves on producing fully-flavoured crisps. So we build quality checks into each stage of the production process, with team members testing each batch for taste and flavour

“We also check packing carefully in a specially-designated area to ensure that it meets all our stringent specifications.

“This way customers can be sure when they purchase a bag of Golden Wonder crisps, they are getting the very best punchy strong flavours and crunch that they have to come to expect from us.”

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