|Alternative names||Banana Crisp (British English)|
|Course||Deep-fried snack, side dish|
|Serving temperature||Room temperature|
|Nutritional value per 100g|
|Energy||2,170 kJ (520 kcal)|
|Vitamin A equiv.|
|Vitamin A||83 IU|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA FoodData Central
Banana chips (sometimes called banana crisps) are deep-fried or dried, generally crispy slices of bananas. They are usually made from firmer, starchier banana varieties ("cooking bananas" or plantains) like the Saba and Nendran cultivars. They can be sweet or savory, and can be covered with sugar, honey, salt, or various spices.
Banana chips are the only processed banana product with significant international trade. The main exporter of banana chips worldwide is the Philippines. Export markets for banana chips are also established in Thailand and Indonesia.
Fried banana chips are usually produced from under-ripe banana slices deep-fried in sunflower oil or coconut oil. These chips are dry (like potato chips), contain about 4% water (table), and can be salted, spiced, sugar coated or jaggery coated. Sometimes banana flavoring is added. If ripe dessert bananas are used, they come out soggy. They are used for desserts, not for dry chips.
Some varieties of banana chips can be produced using only food dehydration. Banana slices that are only dehydrated are not dark yellow and crunchy, but rather are brown, leathery and chewy. They are very sweet and have an intense banana flavor. These are ideally made from bananas that are fully ripe. Another kind is made by baking in an oven, although this process may not result in the same intense banana flavor.
Dried banana chips are 4% water, 58% carbohydrates, 34% fat, and 2% protein. In a 100 gram reference amount, dried banana chips supply 520 calories and are a rich source (20% or more the Daily Value, DV) of magnesium (21% DV) and vitamin B6 (20% DV), with moderate amounts of iron, copper, and potassium (10% to 11% DV) (table). Other micronutrients are in negligible amounts of the Daily Value (see nutrition table).
The Philippines is, by far, the main exporter of banana chips worldwide. It exports large quantities to more than 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Australia, South Korea, China, and Russia. The annual revenue for banana chip exports of the Philippines was approximately $35 million in 2009. There are many variants of banana chips in the Philippines, from traditional dishes like pinasugbo to modern versions coated in cheese powder. Banana chips in the Philippines are made predominantly from saba or cardava bananas, with the latter preferred for commercial banana chips due to their larger sizes. For domestic production and home cooking, they are made directly by deep-frying fresh sliced bananas. For commercial banana chips for the export market, the main method of production is through osmotic dehydration followed by deep frying at 375 °C (707 °F) in coconut oil for 1 minute. The resulting chips are distinctively light-colored.
Fried plantain chips, known as nenthra-kaaya oopperi or vazhaykka upperi or upperi in Kerala, are fried in coconut oil. Both ripe and unripe plantains are used for this type of chip preparation. The chips may be coated with masala or jaggery to form spicy and sweet variations. Plain banana and plantain chips are called pachkkaya varuthathu and kaya upperi, respectively; sweet jaggery-banana chips are called sharkara upperi or sharkkara varatty. Sharkara varatty is more expensive than upperi. It is an integral part of the traditional Kerala meal called sadya served during weddings and festivals, such as Onam.
Banana is a native plant of Maritime Southeast Asia and the people of the archipelago has developed many uses of it for ages, including as a snack. In Indonesia, banana chip is called kripik pisang, and is considered as a variant of crispy kripik (traditional chip or crisp). Kripik pisang is a popular crispy snack and can be commonly found in Indonesia, although it seems to be more prevalent in Java and Sumatra. In North Maluku, popular with pisang mulu bebek is a duck mouth shaped banana chips. It is served with sambal, fried peanut, and fried anchovy. In Lampung, banana chips is combined with chocolate powder called kripik pisang coklat.
Usually unripe green bananas are thinly sliced, soaked in lime and salt water solution, and being deep fried as chips. Unripe banana is well suited for deep frying due to its low content of water and sugar, while having high starch content. Pisang goreng is another fried banana snack, although it is not thinly sliced and serves as a sweet hot snack.
Main article: Chifle
The chips are often part of muesli and nut mixes. Other chips, such as patacones, are salty. Similar chips called chifle are made from plantains, the family of fruit that bananas come from. In tropical American cultures, all bananas are considered plantains, but not all plantains are bananas. These deep-fried plantain chips are also quite popular in the southeastern part of Mexico, especially in the state of Tabasco.