Deyhydrated potatoes offer many fast and easy options, from mashed to hash browns to casseroles and more.
With all the attention given to using fresh ingredients these days, prepared foods often get a bad rap, undeservedly so. Many, like dehydrated potatoes, offer labor saving advantages, high-quality results and uniform control in high volume production situations and also serve as very useful “speed scratch” ingredients.
For example, at low inclusion levels dehydrated potato flakes, flours and granules can act as anti-stalling or crumb softening agents 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.
They also go a long way, offering more end product per metric ton after rehydration than fresh potatoes, and this high yield helps provide excellent, cost-effective plate coverage.
Dehydrated potatoes boast a fairly long shelf life and do not require refrigeration. When stored under ideal conditions, they can be held in storage for 12 months or more, depending on the product.
There are dozens of types of dehydrated potatoes available, ranging from mashed potatoes and hash browns to casseroles and ingredient components. Here are some of the basics you should know when purchasing these products:
|FACT: the incas were the first to freeze dry potatoes, taking advantage of Peru’s often very dry climate (not to mention its more than 3,000 potato varieties) to do the job for them.|
PACKAGING. Dehydrated potato products are typically packed in 16-oz. polyethylene bags, two kilogram polyethylene bags, 10 kilogram multi wall paper bags or 20 kilogram multi wall paper bags. The 16 oz. size bags are packaged in corrugated cardboard cases of 12 bags. The two kilogram polyethylene bags are packaged in corrugated cardboard cases of six bags.
POTATO FLAKES are produced from quality potatoes after washing, peeling, inspection, slicing, precooking, cooling, cooking, drying and flaking to particular specifications. 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 good for potato salads, soups and stews, and also work in chowders, hash and salads.
POTATO SLICES also work well in soups and can be used in 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 other 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 comfort food products that can help drive traffic. Scalloped (sliced) potatoes come with a creamy white sauce with or without varying accompaniments such as red or green bell peppers. Au gratin potatoes are sliced potatoes in a rich 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.
When it comes to fast, easy breakfast staples, hash browns lend themselves to this daypart with long, natural shreds that grill up crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Dehydrated hash browns are three times faster to prepare than frozen versions.