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WATCH: How Phoenix-based 'My Nana's' tortilla chips are made every day

Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 15:45:41-04

PHOENIX — Have you ever wondered how tortilla chips are made?

Every day, more than 1.5 million corn and flour tortillas are made at the "La Canasta" factory in Phoenix, the company behind the "My Nana's Best Tasting" brand.

ABC15 was recently invited onto the manufacturing floor to see and learn about how these tortilla chips are made each day. You can watch the process in the video player above.

The company was founded in 1962 by Richard and Carmen Abril who wanted to make tortillas for Phoenix's Hispanic community in Phoenix. As word of mouth traveled, business grew. It is now owned and operated by the couple's daughters, Josie Ippolito and Linda Rios.

How it happens:

More than 4,000 pounds of whole kernel corn are processed every 90 minutes and ground into a "dough"-like consistency. The dough is molded into thin sheets and cut into tortillas, similar to how cookie cutters cut cookie dough into different shapes.

A system of automated conveners and belts move the tortillas through a 500-degree oven and down a tiered highway where they are cooled and stacked. One assembly line can produce as many as 60,000 tortillas an hour, said Ippolito.

From there, the tortillas are cut into triangular chips and sent to the fryer. They're lightly salted and sorted into bags.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly named one of the owners. The owners of La Canasta are Josie Ippolito and Linda Rios.