On Tuesday, February 4, TRECA Digital Academy students visited the Conn's Potato Chip Factory in Zanesville, OH.
Conn’s has been serving the potato chip and snack foods markets for over 70 years, but the Zanesville facility only makes potato chips. The company began with Mrs. Ida Conn delivering Conn’s Potato Chips in a market basket around her neighborhood, and has developed into their current state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility.
Students began their tour where the potatoes are delivered by semi-trucks. Potatoes are unloaded and put into crates, each of which holds about 2,000 pounds of potatoes. Students learned that Conn’s uses chipping potatoes, which naturally have less sugar than what you find in a grocery store. The lower sugar content prevents the potatoes from browning as quickly.
As we moved on to the fryer room, students learned the crates of potatoes are put into a hopper, and then into water. A machine washes and peels the potatoes, and an employee manually takes out any bad potatoes. The potatoes then go through the slicer, and are finally submerged in a huge fryer. After exiting the fryer, salt is sprayed onto the chips. Students even got to taste a few fresh chips!
Finally, students visited the packaging area. Here, the chips are tumbled with powdered flavoring. A machine weighs out each bag of chips, and seals the bag. Employees hand count and pack the bags into boxes for delivery all over the state.
Thank you to Conn’s for a fun and tasty tour!
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