Every type of food requires proper cutting and packaging so it preserves its integrity until the end user consumes it. Food manufacturers have tried countless packaging and cutting technology in the last decades to find one that is best for food hygiene, quality, and food integrity.
One of the significant contenders of food cutting technology is waterjet food cutting. Due to its popularity, people in the food industry often query about the effectiveness of this method and whether or not it has any benefits.
In this article, we will discuss waterjet food cutting, its benefits, limitations, and how to use it in the best way possible.
Can You Cut Food With a Water Jet Cutter?
Yes, it is possible to cut food with a waterjet cutter. In fact, waterjet technology is the best way to cut food materials. It is one of the fastest growing trends in food production facilities. This method can be used to cut any food type, with some common foods being:
- Different types of Steaks
- Cakes and Pastries
- Any Fish type
- Sweet Potato
- Baked food products like danish
- Frozen food
- Any type of meats
- Many other fruits and vegetables
What are the Benefits of Using a Water Jet to Cut Food?
There are many reasons to replace conventional food cutting solutions with waterjet food cutting. The benefits of waterjet food cutting are:
Waterjet food cutting does not require physical blade cutting or any other type of tool contact with the food item. The process is done by using high pressure water, so the food remains hygienic without any possibility of cross-contamination or bacterial transfer. Additionally, the lack of manual interference eliminates contamination due to human factors such as human hair.
Waterjet cutting of food items leads to minimal kerfs. This means that this cutting technology removes the least amount of material from the food item. It is an important factor for food items where even a slight amount is very expensive.
Cutting Shape Versatility
With waterjet cutting, it is possible to do very intricate cutting to make any shape and size. All that is required is to load the specific program and the waterjet cutting nozzle will automatically move in an efficient cutting pattern to create that shape. These cutting shapes are applicable to any meats, vegetables, fish, frozen foods, or other food items as required.
Waterjet cutting provides the highest safety for the operator and additional workforce in the kitchen. A conventional cutting solution such as physical blade cutting often leads to human injury. However, in waterjet cutting, there is no requirement to manually handle the cutting head.
Waterjet cutting is a fast and automated cutting technology, so it can lead to faster production. Additionally, it doesn’t require metal detection machines that other cutting methods require to detect any broken blade fragments. These reasons make waterjet cutting one of the most cost-effective and highly efficient cutting methods out there.
Waterjet cutting is a completely green process because it does not use any harsh chemicals or release any toxic gases. The only ingredient used in this process is water, which can be purified and recycled in the process itself.
Longer Shelf Life
By eliminating the chances of contamination and creating high-quality cuts, waterjet cutting provides a longer shelf life for food items. In other cutting methods, there is always some degree of contamination which leads to earlier spoiling of the food item.
Less Product Waste
The minimal kerfs lead to lower material removal and therefore minimal product waste. When using cutting technology like blade cutting, a lot of food material gets removed and also gets stuck to the physical blades themselves. This leads to higher product waste and greater rejections.
Ease of Use
While other cutting methods require extensive training and skill, water jet cutting technology has no such requirement. The cutting machine is controlled with software that contains all the cut shapes preloaded. To create any particular cut shape, the operator just needs to select that option on the machinery.
No Heat Damage
As we all know, heating can change food completely. Cutting tools often become heated during operation, which is undesirable in the food industry when cutting raw food items. However, waterjet cutting is a cold food-cutting solution, leading to no heat damage.
Physical cutting tools like knife blades require maintenance such as sharpening dull blades. However, since waterjet cutting is a simple cutting solution using water, there is very less maintenance needed in the process.
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approved
FDA is the sheriff when it comes to any products in the food industry or pharmaceuticals. If any product or production method is dangerous or harmful in any way, it is outlawed by the FDA. The same organization has given its stamp of approval to waterjet cutting as a completely safe food-cutting process. This technology is also a USDA approved method.
Waterjet cutting machines need no breaks and no downtime for changing blades (since none exist!). Therefore, it can provide 24×7 cutting operations in the food industry, leading to an exponential rise in production rate.
How to Choose a Water Jet Food Cutter?
When choosing a water jet cutting machine for food industry, the equipment must be selected carefully. Some of the factors to consider are:
- Build Quality: The food industry provides one of the most critical consumer goods- food. Therefore, low-quality machinery that has a possibility of frequent breakdowns just won’t do. When making a choice, focus on the machine build quality above anything else. Even small machine breakdowns can lead to the rotting of food or the spoiling of entire batches.
- Budget: Budget becomes a crucial factor when making a decision, especially for small to medium-scale kitchens and food packaging workshops. Waterjet machines are available in a wide price range, so shortline the budget you wish to spend on the process.
- Features: Waterjet cutting in the food processing industry does not require features pertaining to abrasive usage or underwater cutting, which are more useful for cutting harder materials like metal. Therefore, it is a cost-saving idea to go easy on the features and choose only what is required.
Best Waterjet Cutter for Food Products
Techni Waterjet’s machines are often considered to be the best waterjet technology for food processing and cutting by various industry experts and food production daily magazine. These machines come with a very sturdy built and all cut shapes preloaded into the software. The software itself is provided complementary to the machine.
These waterjet cutters are already being used by countless small to large-scale kitchens and food processing industries. They have the ability to cut any thickness of food item into any cut shape possible. Therefore, in case you are wondering about which manufacturer to choose, you can never go wrong with Techni Waterjet.
Waterjet cutting technology is already replacing other cutting methods in the food industry across the globe. Water jet cutting turns out to be the winner whether we consider the very intricate cutting perspective or see it from the point of view of hygiene.
Therefore, whether your industry works in meat, vegetables, fish, frozen foods, or any other sector, water jet cutting is definitely going to be the best fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are the answers to some common doubts regarding water jet cutting of food:
Can water jet cut bone?
Yes, water jet cutting can cut through bone with ease. This is one of the reasons that a large portion of food applications of waterjet involve cutting various types of meat.
Will water jet cutting make food wet?
No, water jet cutting technology does not make the food wet. The process applies a very thin stream of water, thinner than a strand of human hair. Therefore, the cutting process is very controlled. In fact, the earliest waterjet applications involved paper cutting, so wetness is out of the question.