A fresh produce firm claims its adoption of an automated water jet machine for topping and tailing celery has enabled it to extend the shelf life of the product.
The technology was designed and supplied to UK firm Len Wright Salads by Quasar Automation, which is based in Yorkshire in the UK.
The business claimed the fresh produce industry traditionally used high speed circular blades to perform topping and tailing, portioning and cut-to-length operations.
Source of contamination
However, the company said this could have a negative impact on quality and appearance, especially if blades begin to blunt, causing bruising or unsightly strands on the portioned product. Material retained on the blades could also be a source of contamination, it added.
The new system is based on a 40 horse power KMT Water Pump Unit and uses up to four static 0.15mm diameter nozzles.
Celery is passed under the nozzles on a conveyor system and the system has the capacity to produce 120 units per minute.
The system uses either two nozzles to top and tail individual celery sticks or four nozzles to cut celery into smaller portioned lengths.
Len Wright Salads said adoption of the system boosted demand so much that it had to install another identical machine.
“We began working with Len Wright Salads to develop the solution using our in-house demonstration system,” said Bob Hinchcliffe, managing director at Quasar Automation.
“This enabled us to prove the concept and also allowed the customer to see first hand the quality and consistency benefits that Water Jet brings to this application.”