Revealed: How Much Air Is In Your Favourite Crisp Packets

But manufacturers aren't trying to rip you off, apparently.
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We’ve all been there: you’re craving a packet of crisps, you open the bag and you’re disappointed with the lack of actual crisps inside.

Now, research has revealed the amount of air crisp manufacturers add to packets in order to inflate them, but all is not as it seems.

Rather than attempting to pull the wool over our eyes with half-empty packets, manufacturers reportedly add air to packets to preserve the freshness of crisps.

It may sound like baloney, but the independent study confirmed that packets with the most air added did in fact keep crips from going stale for the longest period of time.

The research, by appliance manufacturers CDA Appliances, measured the amount of air in some of the nation’s favourite crisps, with the below results.


Popchips were found to contain the most amount of air of any of the products tested at 72%, while Wotsits contained the least air at 18%.

Speaking to the MailOnline, a spokesperson from the Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers Association said the weight of a bag of crisps is clearly marked on the outside of a packet and that it is the addition of nitrogen to a packet which causes them to inflate larger.

“In addition to preventing staleness, the inserted gas also provides the added benefit of creating a cushioning effect to protect the fragile contents of a packet from damage.” they said.

“The packaging expands or contracts depending on the ambient temperature, whereby the gas present in the pack will fill a larger volume when it’s hotter, and a smaller volume when it’s cooler.”

The study authors confirmed that adding additional air to packets did indeed appear to make crisps last for longer.

They discovered that the average packet of crisps has a best before date of 55 days after production, but upon testing, they found that Popchips - the packet with the highest level of added air - can last up to 290 days before going stale.

So there you have it, opening a bag with more air than crisps isn’t that disappointing after all.