The Trick For Extending The Crispiness Of Your Potato Chips

Picture this: You're finally done with your work for the day so you reach for a comforting bag of your favorite potato chips. To your surprise, the bag of chips you opened only two days ago has already become soggy. Although they seem to occupy different dining needs, potato chips and French fries are both deep-fried potatoes, which means potato chips also become unappetizing after a period of time.

The science behind the atrophying potato chip is quite simple and follows the same process that makes bread go stale: Hydrophilic starch molecules absorb water (via Science ABC). Both potato chips and French fries are drowned in oil to create a crispy outer layer that makes these greasy carbs so popular. The reason why crunchy potato chips turn soggy is actually due to the crispy nature of the chip — the crunchiness of the chip is made up of starch molecules that are hydrophilic, which means that they like to draw in any presence of moisture, according to MIT News. Bread, on the other hand, turns stale because its crisper outer crust takes the water from the inside of the bread (via Pop Sci).

It's funny how the same mechanism seems to bring out opposite effects in these carbs. Either way, there is a way to keep your potato chips fresh for longer.

Add a silica gel packet

Yes, a silica gel packet — that small white pouch that is found in new purses — can keep your potato chips crispy for longer. The reason for this is that the silica gel packet is a desiccant, a material that soaks up extra moisture (via Discovery Magazine). Silica gel does two things: It takes extra moisture and releases the moisture it soaked if the environment is too dry. This dual function of the silica gel makes it a fantastic preserver for potato chips. The silica gel packet absorbs much more moisture (up to 40 percent of its weight) than the starchy molecules of the potato chip would, thus preventing the potato chip from becoming as soggy at it normally would.

The "DO NOT EAT" warnings printed all over silica gel packets may deter you from putting them in your chips. However, according to the Illinois Poison Center, this label is actually there more as a safety precaution for choking. Silica gel balls may be choking hazards for small children, but if ingested, they are generally nontoxic.

The next time you rip open a new bag of chips, plop a silica gel packet in there and enjoy your chips for days. This powerful desiccant can be useful for your culinary needs, so it's always good to have some lying around. But if your chips have already gone stale, try this hack to revive your chips.