Cut Fresh Food & Produce with KMT Waterjet
Cutting fresh food and produce with the waterjet offers many advantages from longer shelf life of the cut products to a reduction of waste generated by the cutting process to increased throughput rate in the production. KMT Waterjet Systems offers a variety of different high pressure pumps, cutting heads and equipment for an efficient pure water cutting process.
Cutting celery and lettuce with waterjet
Benefits of the Waterjet Cutting Process for the Processor
- Continuous New “Blades”
No sharpening, no cleaning. Cutting is done using the high pressure stream of filtered water from existing waterlines. Water consumption varies but will generally be less than 1.5 litres per minute per cutting head.
- Rapid Line Change-Over Possible
The high pressure water stream gently cuts through a wide range of materials enabling rapid line changeovers from onions to celery to lettuce, for example, very quickly.
- Faster Production
Increased throughput is possible because the blade is a moving stream of water - product can usually be cut much faster than lines can be fed.
- Localized Processing of Produce Now Possible
Rather than cut produce where it is picked, a multi-purpose waterjet machine can be located closer to where the product is consumed. The cost of a multi-purpose machine can be spread over savings achieved by processing several types of produce.
- Value-added Process for Differentiation
The improved characteristics of the finished product, opens the possibility for a premium pricing strategy.
- Lower Personnel Costs
There is strong potential for dramatically lower production costs due to higher speed production, more automated, multi-purpose machines and reduced need for repetitive motions by workers.
Benefits for the Finished Product and the Consumer
- Longer Shelf Life
a) Cells and surrounding materials are not damaged by compression because the high pressure water stream erodes and washes away the cells as the stream flies past at speeds up to 3.2 times the speed of sound, and
b) the area is left slightly moistened in a humid environment leaving less surface area exposed to air without skin for protection against loss of water and microorganisms.
- Better Treatment of Product
Because the waterjet stream is moving so fast, high speed processing lines can be setup to move product fast without bumping and bruising as might be caused by human hands doing repetitive motions.
- Minimal Waste
The high pressure jet stream is extremely thin and always has the same “sharp” cutting action. Traditional knives and blades start with a thin edge but get wider, causing compression damage as it passes through the produce.
- Better Appearance
Post-cut treatments with sanitation solutions (calcium chloride, chlorine, etc.) or preservatives (citric acid, sodium benzoate, etc.) have better coverage and are more effective on smoother cuts which have less cell and tissue damage.
- Ready to Use Material
The finished result is a product that requires less processing and handling by end-users. The produce should be preferred because it means more useable material per weight, better appearing material and longer-lasting material. Torn product (lettuce leaves) leave jagged edges and add weight, increasing costs for users.