PEF processing for potato chips enhances processing, reduces costs, increases yield, controls colour, develops new product opportunities, and improves product quality.

Reduce costs

Reduced energy and water consumption. Softer raw material results in better knife ware.

Increase yield

PEF treated potato is softer resulting in easier cutting and less fines and breakages.

Control colour

Less oil uptake, increased water evaporation and lower frying temperatures lead to less browning and improved colour.

Improve quality

Elea PEF Advantage produces crunchier, crispier, brighter coloured, healthier chips.

New product opportunity

More flexible potato produced by PEF enables more complex cuts and shapes.

Exert greater control over your chip production line with Elea PEF systems. PEF processing for potato chips benefits selection, sugar release, frying control, slicing, washing, frying, flavouring and more.

Find the right Elea PEF Advantage system for your chip line

We have installed more than 175 Elea PEF systems globally, working for some of the world’s leading food producers. Every Elea PEF Advantage systems share the same 24/7 production capability and are built to operate under extreme conditions.
Elea PEF Advantage systems have a fully flexible processing capacity. Able to process a single potato or a full load with no impact on the PEF treatment and putting you fully in control of your production planning. All Elea systems are designed to be easily and fully integrated into your existing production line with minimal disruption.

Elea PEF Advantage B systems increase value, enhance production, improve frying control, expand capacity, and controls colour

Elea PEF Advantage Belt systems bring fantastic product & process benefits to both batch & continuous process lines. 

Potato Selection

To produce high-quality potato chips, it is important to have a good quality potato. Potatoes for chips production are characterized by low sugar and high starch content. However, those potatoes come at a higher price. The PEF treatment allows for compensation of natural variations in the quality of the raw material. This, on the one hand, allows new and normally difficult to process varieties to be used in production; on the other hand, seasonal difference such as an increased sugar content over long storage times can be diminished.


PEF treatment is independent of the peeling step. As PEF is a volumetric treatment, the size, composition or cleanliness of the potatoes does not affect it. PEF does not affect the peeling process positively or negatively. However, cleaned and unpeeled potatoes allow for the lowest increase in conductivity of the processing water in the PEF and, therefore, help reduce water consumption.

PEF Advantage B 1 system in Italian chips production

Elea PEF Advantage treatment

The PEF treatment is a purely physical process and does not change the composition of the raw material. Due to the applied electrical pulses, the ions on both sides of the cell membrane, which functions as an isolator, are ionized, leading to an attraction of the ions and forming pores in the cell membrane. This allows for leakage of water and water-soluble compounds from the raw material, resulting in a softer, more flexible product. At the same time, macromolecules such as starch are retained in the cell.


Due to the water leakage after PEF treatment, the turgor pressure inside the cell reduces, leading to a softer raw material. This allows for easier cutting, resulting in less damage to the raw material while retaining the sharpness of the blades for a longer time. As fewer cells are damaged during cutting, a higher amount of starch is retained within the cell, resulting in a yield increase of about 1.5% due to improved cutting. Additionally, the smooth cutting surface allows for improved drainage of oil after frying, leading to a reduction in fat uptake on the final product.


The washing step in chips production has two main functions. The first is the removal of excess surface starch to prevent sticking together of slices in the fryer. Due to the improved cut, more starch is retained in the potato, allowing for a reduced starch load in the washing water and reducing water usage during washing. The secondary function is the removal of reducing sugars. Due to the open cell structure achieved by the electroporation, sugars can be removed from the raw material easier, improving the overall colour after frying.


Due to the open cell structure, the mass and heat transfer throughout the potato slices is improved. Therefore, it is possible to adapt frying times and temperatures to achieve a gentler frying process. This allows for a brighter colour in the final product and the possibility to increase batch sizes and processing capacity. Due to the smooth surface structure, the drainage of oil after being removed from the fryer is improved, resulting in a reduction of fat content. Finally, due to the more uniform distribution of water throughout the cells, the starch gelatinization results in an improved crunchiness of the final product. This results on the one hand in an improved final product; on the other hand, it is possible to produce a chip with a higher final moisture content while still maintaining the final product quality.


The smoother surface enables a more uniform seasoning adhesion producing a better-flavoured chip.

Improve chips with PEF

Better chips

Overall, PEF allows improving the efficiency of your processing line and the quality of your final product. The open cell structure allows for an improved frying process and an increase in production capacity. Furthermore, the smooth cut allows for a healthier chip with reduced oil content and overall brighter colour due to optimized frying conditions and a better crunchiness.

Easier cutting, greater flexibility, new product opportunity

PEF gently opens the pores in the potatoes cell membrane, transforming the structure of the product. It’s a clean, gentle, targeted process. After treatment, the potato is smoother, softer, has better strength and flexibility.

Elea PEF Advantage benefits for potato chips in greater detail

Click on the drop-down menus below for a more in-depth explanation of some of the PEF benefits for chips.

Better colour and less browning for batch and continuous

An optimized frying process with lower temperatures results in colour improvements.

Improved texture and crispiness for batch and continuous

Enhanced water release and homogeneous starch gelatinization lead to an improved crunch and mouthfeel.

Reduced oil content for batch & continuous

A smooth cut results in a smaller surface area and less oil uptake.

Cutting force reduction with PEF of up to 50% for batch and continuous

The PEF induced open cell structure and water release softens the raw material making cutting easier.

Longer knife durability for batch and continuous

The softer PEF treated potato increases the knife durability.

Reduced starch loss with cutting improvement for continuous processing

Less starch leakage during washing, because less cells are mechanically damaged during cutting.
(Data from a 1.3 t/h final product line)

Reduced clusters for batch frying

Water leakage creates a vapour barrier reducing the amount of slices sticking together while batch frying.

Greater capacity for batch frying

The improved water evaporation leads to batch size increase and frying time reduction.

The figures here are for example purposes only and are dependent on the raw material.

Elea application support for potato chips

From your initial brief to final installation, we quickly get your new PEF system working perfectly for your product.
Each and every PEF solution we provide for our clients is tailored to their specific requirements.  

We can trial your product at our specialist PEF piloting facility at our headquarters in Quakenbrück, Germany, or we can run trials on location at your production line.

Once trials are finished you can be sure that you getting the most optimal PEF treatment for your product.

Our scientists and engineers work with our clients every step of the way offering expert guidance and professional advice for your chip product. We take your product concept and apply our industry-leading knowledge and experience to designing a system that will deliver greatest value.

Technical care and support

We offer a range of service options including remote monitoring and 24 hours support.

Installation and commissioning

Our specialist installation teams work closely with our customers to ensure a smooth, swift and successful commissioning of our systems into your production line.

24 / 7 / 365 Support

As part of our service contract we supply each customer with round the clock technical support. With our team of support engineers, options for remote maintenance and on-site spare parts, we keep you up, running and efficient.

Remote monitoring

Optionally the ELEA PEF-systems can be connected for remote diagnostic and support by our Customer Service Department. For this option, ELEA can offer a specific package.

With our team of support engineers, options for remote maintenance and on-site spare parts, we keep you up, running and efficient.

Amica testimonial for Elea PEF Advantage

In early 2021 Elea held a webinar dedicated to PEF chip production. Mr Frank Bianchi, plant manager for Amica chips kindly introduced the webinar and you can watch his testimonial here.

Meet the Elea chips team

Kevin Hill
R&D Engineer (M. Sc.)
Jimmy Kinsella
Engineering Manager
Johannes Pfeiffer
Sales Manager
The Elea chips team includes process engineers, food and biotechnologists, mechanical and electrical engineers and more – all of whom specialise in Pulsed Electric Field.