There are two different methods for making banana
chips. One of these is to deep fry thin slices of
banana in hot oil, in the same way as potato chips or
crisps. The other is to dry slices of banana, either in
the sun or using a solar or artificial dryer. The
products made by the two methods are quite
different. The deep fried chips tend to be a
savoury, high calorie product that is eaten as a snack
food. Because they are deep fried in oil they have a
fairly short shelf life- up to 2 months maximum
when stored in the correct conditions. The oil is
prone to turning rancid and the crisps to becoming
soft if they are not stored in air-tight containers.
Figure 1: Banana chips.
Photo: Neil Noble / Practical Action.
The dried chips are a more ‘wholesome’ product.
They too are eaten as a snack food and are often
added to cereal mixes such as muesli. The chips can be dried without any additives or they can
be coated with a syrup or honey dip prior to drying which gives a sweeter tasting, higher calorie
and possibly more attractive looking product. Chips made by drying have a longer shelf life (up to
6 months) as long as they are dried to a low moisture content and stored in a cool dry place.
Bananas can also be dried whole or in long strips until they are leathery and chewy. They have a
higher sugar content and are not crispy like the dried chips. They are sometimes referred to as
This brief explains how to make fried banana and plantain chips and dried banana chips. Any
starchy fruit such as under-ripe jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).
Fried banana chips
Principles of preservation
Under-ripe mature banana or plantain is cut into thin slices and fried to a crisp texture. The
slices can be partially dried before frying which removes some of the moisture and makes them
more crispy. Frying removes some of the water, gelatinizes the starch, destroys enzymes and
micro-organisms and gives a crisp product with a characteristic aroma and taste. The low
moisture content inhibits microbial growth and packaging prevents recontamination.
Knives or small fruit slicer
Plastic buckets or bowls for soaking fruit
Plastic sieve for draining the soak water
Drying trays (solar drying)
Drying cabinet (for assisted drying)
Large frying pan or wok
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