Know Your Potato Chips

A glossary of terms commonly found―but rarely explained―on potato-chip bags.

By Kate Merker
Open bag of potato chipsKana Okada
  • Classic or original potato chips: The chips are moved through a fryer on a conveyor belt.
  • Kettle-cooked chips: The snacks are made in small batches without a conveyor belt.
  • Handmade or hand-cooked chips: No automated machinery is used to peel, slice, or fry the potatoes.
  • Baked chips: Cooked in an oven rather than fried in oil, they contain less fat and fewer calories than fried chips.
  • Crisps: These are made from potatoes that have been dehydrated, flaked, rehydrated, and pressed into uniform shapes. Pringles and Lays Stax are crisps.
  • Natural potato chips: According to the Food and Drug Administration, natural potato chips cannot contain artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives.
  • Light chips: The product contains half the fat of, or one-third fewer calories than, regular chips.
  • Reduced-fat chips: Contain at least 25 percent fewer calories than the standard product.
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