Ultrasonic Food Cutting

Investigation of Process Parameters in ultrasonic Cutting of Food

Workgroup: Preservation of food quality

Spokesman of IVLV-Project Team: N.N.
Research Institution: TU Dresden
Scientific Guidance: Prof. Dr. H. Rohm

Financing: IVLV
Project Duration: 2004

The appearance quality of food products is often determined by cutting processes. In conventional cutting an insufficient matching of technological parameters and product properties may lead to certain quality defects such as deficient cut faces, product deformation, waste through crumbling and breakage and poor accuracy of the cut. Blade life may be unsatisfactory and frequent cleaning is necessary.

By adequately adjusting process parameters, ultrasonic cutting shows some advantages:

  • excellent quality of the cut face, even for strongly adhesive and multilayered products
  • significant reduction of cutting force and product deformation
  • lower amounts of crumbs and debris and
  • longer intervals between cleaning and sharpening of the blades

The aim of this project is to expand the potential of ultrasonic cutting applications in food production, especially for products where conventional cutting leads to unsatisfying results. Studies are focused on

  • estimation of quality improvement when applying ultrasonic food cutting
  • self-cleaning effects on the vibrating blade and its influence on the transfer of microorganisms
  • possible inactivation of microorganisms when cutting foods with high water content
  • influence of the shape of the blades and
  • cutting of frozen and hot products

The contamination with microorganisms during cutting is both induced by transfer through the atmosphere and the adhesion of product particles in the cutting machine. If the latter remain longer within the cutting device, the contamination of following products is highly probable. Among others, it shall be determined whether a smaller amount of residual products on the blade diminishes microbial contamination of the product, and whether ultrasonic vibrations facilitate the self-cleaning of the blade. Additionally, aim of the project is to monitor presumable cavitational effects on microorganisms in foods with high water content.