French fries are probably the most universal appetizer and the second preferred by the Spanish after the pipes. We know that they are not highly recommended, that’s why the industry is trying to win over the consumer who cares about their health by reformulating their products or disguising something that is not so healthy as healthy. Lay’s Oven They are one of the latest proposals to reach stores, a line with which the brand claims to “revolutionize” the market for commercial snacks.
The latest novelty of the brand aims to improve the nutritional profile of its snacks “
Launched at the beginning of October, the latest novelty of the Pepsico-owned brand has not in vain coincided with the end of the summer. Just when the consumer faces the new course seeking to get rid of the excesses of the holidays, a variant of the most popular french fries of the brand but with a particularity, well highlighted on the packaging: “with 50% less saturated fat than traditional French fries”.
It’s an eye-catching statement but, unsurprisingly, has a little trick, although all product labeling strictly follow the legislation. There is a small detail in this supposedly revolutionary snack, since the term “french fries” does not appear to define or describe the product itself. Because legally, they are not.
A “potato snack product”
To know what a food product is and what it actually contains, you have to ignore everything on the package and look for the legal trade name, which usually precedes the list of ingredients and nutritional information. We flip the bag over and we can read “baked potato snack product”; that is to say, they are not potatoes as such.
It was clear that they could not be advertised as ordinary French fries, since the baking process is precisely their great asset, but they are not simple baked potatoes either. Even with the technology of an industry it does not seem possible to imitate the delicious crunchy texture of a traditional potato chip. without resorting to frying, as much as we like our lighter homemade versions. Whoever tries to find the same result is doomed to disappointment.
We are not surprised, therefore, that Lay’s has resorted to formulating a snack Elaborated based on potato flakes dehydrated and other ingredients to form what we suppose a dough that is shaped like a fried potato, or something approximate, to obtain this crunchy texture by baking.
The complete list of ingredients, in the variety ‘to the point of salt’, is the following:
Potato flakes (66%), starch, sunflower oil, sugar, emulsifier (soy lecithin), dextroa, salt (1.2%), acidity regulator (citric acid), coloring (turmeric root extract).
Regarding the flavor variety ‘peasant’, the list lengthens:
Potato flakes (63%), starch, sunflower oil, smoked meat aroma [harina de trigo, preparaciones y sustancias aromatizantes (contienen trigo), cebolla en polvo (0,3%), pimentón en polvo, tomate en polvo (0,3%), ajo en polvo, prejil (0,3%), correctores de acidez (ácido cítrico, ácido máltico), aroma de humo, colorante (extracto de pimentón)], sugar, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), dextrose, salt, coloring (turmeric root extract).
The range is completed with the flavor ‘Provencal herbs’, which we have not been able to test, with a similar list of ingredients but also including whey and lactose among the flavorings, so that only the first flavor described would be free of allergens.
Below we detail the nutritional information of this potato snack, comparing it with its original french fries, for every 100 g of product, including the light version that the brand already had -and that they are real potatoes-. We can check that total energy contenthe of these snacks does not decrease as much when reducing saturated fat, and they also increase the sugars.
Energy value per 100 g
Lay’s Oven to the point of salt
72.1 g (sugars 4.7 g)
Lay’s to the point of salt
52.7 g (sugars 0.7 g)
Lay’s Peasant Oven
71.5 g (sugars 6.7 g)
53.4 g (3.8 g sugars)
Lay’s Light to the point of salt
64.0 g (sugars 0.3 g)
Good crunchy texture with a flavor that stays half
The packaging of these Lay’s Oven is of good quality, with the typical bags but very resistant and somewhat more solid to the touch than other brands, totally opaque and imitating the design of the original Lay’s whose flavor they want to imitate. Curiously, the ‘al punto de sal’ variety contains 150 g, while the other two only 130 g, although it is a detail that goes unnoticed at first glance.
Despite the usual hustle and bustle that these balls suffer during their transport, we are surprised to find a large number of complete units, without breaking, and they have a remarkable thickness, without being exaggerated.
Each fake potato is cut into a hexagonal shape with a certain alleged irregularity, with a slightly warped shape and both sides furrowed by parallel lines, the typical grooves that remind us of the wavy Ruffles, also owned by Pepsico.
It is a well-thought-out design that, on the one hand, recreates the curves that Pringles also shape, another snack made from dehydrated potatoes, but on the other, it seeks to imitate more the appearance of a real potato chip and not so much identical clones. The crunchy texture is very successful and that palatility when biting them is its greatest virtue.
Flavor is where they falter the most. We have liked the ‘campesinas’ much more, since they reproduce quite well the qualities of the original ones, with their typical smoked aromas and that characteristic paprika touch. The ‘to the point of salt’, however, they are too bland. They are not bad, but they remain half.
A lover of real French fries, the churreria type or more artisan ones, will be disappointed. What makes chips be a delicious appetizer is precisely the real potato flavor and the texture it acquires when properly fried in good oil. These types of alternative products only mimic the shape and crunchy texture.
We understand that there is a market for these snacks less greasy, since the snack market has only grown with more or less innovative proposals. From bizarre flavored fries to supposedly healthier veggie, vegan or organic products, there is a whole reef to be exploited.
In conclusion, a crispy snack with less fat but for occasional consumption
Lay’s Oven doesn’t really fool anyone, if you read the fine print. They want to offer an alternative with less saturated fat for those who do not want to give up that snack, but you have to be aware that remain an ultra-processed product to consume moderately and occasionally.
The peasant women, especially, will appeal to those who were already a fan of the originals, but whoever tries them and is not convinced, we recommend going back to their usual French fries. The difference in nutritional terms is not so great that this reduction in fat is an excuse to devour an entire bag a week. Since you are going to give yourself that occasional whim, it better be really enjoying.
Lay’S Baked Potato Baked with Salt, 130g
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