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While experimenting with homemade potato chips, I found a lot of recipes that suggest using lime or oil as a coating for applying spices. But I noticed that many supermarket chips seem to have a distinct seasoning adherence. Could there be specific additives in these chips that make lime and oil less effective for achieving a similar outcome? I want to understand if there are certain properties or chemical components in those chips that provide really strong spice adhesion.

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    The biggest problem you are going to run into trying to recreate bagged chips is that it's hard to replicate an industrial process in a home kitchen. They are (often) using special potatoes treated in a specific way, giant oil amounts that don't suffer from temp drop and spacing etc. And despite what the existing answer says, once you go beyond basic unflavored chips into things like "bbq" and so on there will be other additives (eg starches and maltodextrine).
    – eps
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:08

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There is no such additive, and no need for it.

For both types of chips, all you need to do is transfer them from the deep fryer directly to the tossing station. Everything (salt, spice powders, etc.) will adhere on its own.

For reference, see the ingredients list of Lay's potato chips:

Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola, Corn, Soybean, and/or Sunflower Oil), and Salt.

and take a look at how they are produced industrially. The relevant part is somewhere from 3:11 to 3:28.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6IYy95ODDU&t=191

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