Preparing starch-based products, such as potatoes, from dehydrated ingredients offers certain advantages to operators, such as homogeneity, uniformity and control of the end product. They are usually fat-, cholesterol-and saturated fat-free as well as sodium free. They can also be used as a "speed-scratch" ingredient in some recipes.
At low inclusion levels, dehydrated potato flakes, potato flours and potato granules can act as an anti-stalling or crumb softening agent in baking applications without altering most taste profiles. The free starch present in dehydrated potato flakes and flour can also be used as a binder in meats and other products.
Dehydrated potatoes do not require refrigeration and boast a fairly long shelf life—when stored under ideal conditions, the shelf life of dehydrated potato products ranges between 12 and 18 months, depending on the product.
Here are some things to know when purchasing dehydrated potato products.
Dehydrated potato products are relatively simple to prepare. No cleaning, peeling, slicing or mashing is required. They go a long way when it comes to saving time and reducing food costs by offering more end product per metric ton after rehydration than fresh potatoes. They also boast a high yield, excellent plate coverage and pleasing eye appeal.
Dehydrated potato products should be packed in 16 ounce polyethylene bags, two kilogram polyethylene bags, 10 kilogram multi wall paper bags or 20 kilogram multi wall paper bags. The 16 ounce size bags are packaged in corrugated cardboard cases of 12 bags. The two kilogram polyethylene bags should be packaged in corrugated cardboard cases of 6 bags.
There are dozens of types of dehydrated potato products ranging from mashed potatoes and hash browns to casseroles and ingredients.
Depending on the needs of your operation it's important to know what's available.
Potato flakes are produced from quality potatoes after washing, peeling, inspection, slicing, precooking, cooling, cooking, drying and flaking to the size specifications of the customer. Once reconstituted the flakes can be used to make creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes, or sprinkled into soups to create a thicker consistency.
Potato shreds are long, thin strips of potatoes that can be used to form hash browns or classic potato pancakes. They make great additions to soups and casseroles. They are lightweight and retain a fresh-potato appearance.
Diced potatoes are great for potato salads, delicious in soups and stews and perfect for chowders, hash and salads.
Potato slices work well in soups, salads and casseroles. They can also be served alone as an alternative to conventional fries or bagged chips.
Mashed potatoes come in a wide variety of styles. Unseasoned mashed potatoes are ideal as a base for herbs, spices and flavorings. Other varieties include fully complete seasoned mashed potatoes, homestyle mashed potatoes and full-flavored no-mix mashed potatoes with add-ins such as butter, cream or with skins. Also, a number of instant mashed potato products follow a simple one-step process that allows for steam table prep.
Scalloped and au gratin potatoes are popular casserole style products that drive traffic. Scalloped (sliced) potatoes come with a creamy white sauce with or without varying additions such as red or green bell peppers. Au gratin potatoes are sliced potatoes in a rich cheddar cheese sauce. Both scalloped and au gratin potatoes have impressive hold times on steam tables or under heat lamps and oftentimes only require hot water.
Breakfast demands foods that are quick, easy and tasty. Hash browns lend themselves to this daypart with long, natural shreds that grill up crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Plus, dehydrated hash browns are three times faster to prepare than frozen versions.
FACT: The average American eats 13 pounds of dehydrated potatoes each year.