Potato Chip Problems
Using Basic Quality Tools to Solve Food Quality Issues
School of Food Science
University of Idaho
In this case study, students assume the role of a quality assurance team that is in charge of determining potential causes and solutions for potato chip bags that open during the shipping process. Students will use basic quality control tools to evaluate the process, brainstorm potential causes, determine the most likely cause of the problem, and develop potential solutions for the problem. A couple of the case exercises require students to create fishbone (Ishikawa) diagrams. A summative writing assignment and a set of optional questions for further exploration are included. This case study is appropriate for courses focusing on quality management in industrial settings, as well as a general undergraduate statistics or experimental design course.
- Apply basic quality tools (e.g., process flow diagrams, fishbone diagrams) to a given food process.
- Compare different potential causes for a process problem and select the most likely cause given information about the process.
- Develop potential solutions for a process problem.
- Explain how to use basic quality tools to determine the effectiveness of potential solutions to a processing issue.
Keywordsquality assurance; block diagram; flow diagram; manufacturing; root cause analysis; process monitoring; statistical quality; quality tools; food quality; stale; fishbone diagram; Ishikawa; QI macros
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education
Type / MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion
Subject HeadingsFood Science / Technology | Interdisciplinary Sciences | Statistics |