Consumers, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, Processing, fries, chips, Trends

Book report: Why are crisps SO addictive?

Have you ever wondered why you couldn't stop at just one crisp? Femail can reveal the lengths cunning companies go to to achieve that moreish effect, from shape to satisfying crunchBritain is a nation of crisp (chip) fanatics, consuming about six billion packets a year. That’s one ton of crisps every three minutes, or nearly 100 packets per person — more, it is thought, than anywhere else in Europe. In his latest book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, best-selling author Michael Moss reveals why crisps (chips) are irresistible. Salt provides an arresting sensation on first contact with the tongue, called ‘the flavour burst’ by the food industry. Fat from the oil in which crisps are fried gives ‘mouthfeel’ — experienced through the trigeminal nerve, which sends pleasure sensations to the brain. Sugar, meanwhile, isn’t only present in the potato starch but is often added by manufacturers to make crisps all the more enticing. Our desire for foods containing fat, salt and sugar is thought to have come from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who craved high-energy foods. Worryingly, some experts have found similarities in the brains of crisp-lovers and drug addicts. More

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