Getting larger food flakes to stay stuck on snacks and other food substrates is the goal of a patent that Frito-Lay North America filed April 9 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The food flakes may be pieces of vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, grains, herbs or spices. The food substrates may be such items as chips, pretzels, crispy bread products, popcorn or nuts.

The adhesive coating in one embodiment is an oil or oil blend. The oil blend in another embodiment is a dairy-based, oil-joining adhesive. The method involves heating the pre-coated food flakes, which partially liquefies the adhesive coating, and then applying the flakes to the substrate. Cooling then hardens the adhesive, forming a bond between the food flakes and the food substrate.

The method solves the problem of insufficient adhesion associated with larger food flakes and other methods, such as those involving oil, corn syrup solids or maltodextrin as the adhesive agent, according to Plano-based Frito-Lay North America, a segment of PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y.