High-speed cutting of foods: Development of a special testing device
Because of the viscoelastic and therefore time-dependent properties of many foods, cutting at high velocity is a complicated process that may lead to undesired fracture and deformation and, thereby, reduce cutting quality. In addition, the analysis of the process is difficult because of the limited availability of commercial equipment for high-speed testing. This work reports on the development of a test station for high-speed cutting that enables a cutting velocity of up to 10 m/s; process analysis is realized by force and video data capturing. Using a bubble gum matrix as example, the increase in cutting velocity (from 10−4-101 m/s) as well as the decrease of sample temperature resulted in a decrease of the viscous contribution of the material and an increase of elastic effects that was reflected by reduced material deformation and brittle fracture during cutting. The holistic description of these effects was realized by interpreting cutting forces, video data, and results of dynamic mechanical analysis. The described test station with high-speed process analysis represents a prominent tool for demonstrating the sensitivity of viscoelastic foods towards temperature and mechanical stresses caused during cutting.