Wow. Everybody is liking them Sunflower Chips. In upscale mixes or sold straight, lots of people are finding out how much birds are liking Sunflower Chips – mostly because of stores like yours. Here’s a short 411 on how the chips are made. (Like always, pretend you already knew this stuff when talking to customers. We’re down with it.)
The raw sunflower seeds are fed into dehuller machines. The shell is shattered off the seed by air that forces it against the inside of the bin. Screens then scalp off the shell while each sunflower chip goes through an electric eye. The shell-less seeds are graded into separate sizes. The primary use for the sunflower kernel is the human edible Bakery Kernel market. Kernels that don’t pass inspection for uses in baking get sent to Lizzie Mae.
One of the reasons there’s very little foreign material in the #1 Coarse Chips is the electric eye that the seed goes through. This video explains the process. You’ll love the soothing background music. I watch it each night before I fall asleep in my footy jammies.
The #1 Coarse and Medium Chips are the primary chips used in mixes. Fine Chips are used in Finch. Quality of the #1 Coarse Chips is very consistent. Mahlon and team get very vigilant watching our inbound fine chips further down the food trail because the chips can come through powdery. And who wants that?
#2 Chips have become more and more popular as the cost of straight Oil Seed appears to have settled in at a higher level than we saw a decade ago. #2 Chips are seconds from the bakery industry also. But while the other chips are completely shelled, #2 chips have about 70% sunflower kernels with 30% still in the shell.
So any store looking to compete with the “Um, my local big box is selling 50# Oil Seed for $10.00 a bag”, #2 Sunflower chips might be something for you to consider. One of our customers markets them as Nearly Naked Sunflower but he watches a lot of late night cable. Here’s a handy dandy downloadable photo spread of our Sunflower chips: