Timaru trial underway to see if electrocuting potatoes will make for healthier hot chips

New technology being trialled in the South Island could make hot chips healthier.

A machine, which is being installed at a factory in Timaru, claims to be able to reduce the amount of fat needed to make the fast food favourites.

"What the machine does is it effectively puts a potato in a water bath and electrocutes the potato," said Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge.

Called Pulse Electric Field, or PEF technology, the machine sends pulses of electricity right through the starchy vegetable, modifying and disrupting the membranes of cells.

The process reults in a stronger, more robust potato - one which doesn't absorb as much oil when fried.

German company Elea produces and distributes the machinery worldwide.

It will be the first time the machine will be used at a commercial level in New Zealand, and Otago University will help conduct a three-month trial into its benefits.

"We're 90 per cent more efficient in our energy, use less water so there's savings for the customer, the factories, and it's more environmentally friendly, which in this day and age, is more important for a lot of our customers," Elea Engineering manager Jimmy Kinsella said.

It’s hoped a machine will be able to reduce the amount of fat needed to make the fast food favourites. Source: 1 NEWS