As an efficient automatic cutting tool, the laser cutting system has long been used in medicine, woodworking, garment, advertising, crafts, arts, gifts, packaging, and metal fabrication, but it is rarely used in food processing. Here, we discuss the feasibility and superiority of the application of laser cutting machine in food processing.
Laser is a special kind of light generated by using means such as illumination, heating and electric discharge to excite a specific substance, and under the action of a resonant cavity, a stimulated radiation oscillation occurs inside the substance. Utilizing the high power and high directional characteristics of the laser beam, the use of appropriate optical focusing devices can form extremely thin beams for cutting metals and organics. This is the laser cutting system. Laser cutting is a non-contact processing, so it is very clean and hygienic. In addition, its cutting speed is fast, the processing volume is large, the cut section is smooth and tidy, and the workpiece can be cut into any desired shape.
These advantages of laser cutting are of practical value in food processing. For example: Laser cutting noodles, bread, fish, meat, bones, vegetables and fruits, etc., the cross-section will be smoother and regular in shape. Special shapes can also be cut out as new product shapes. Cutting food with a laser cutter is incomparable to any chef with extraordinary knife skills, and it is especially useful in mass cutting.
Because laser cutting system uses photons as the blade, it can cut large organic molecules sharply. The protein molecule is very large, after cutting it with a laser knife, it will help digestion. The cell membrane, cell nucleus and intercellular substance are cut open with a laser cutter to release the nutrients and functional components in the tissue structure. This is very helpful for extracting nutrients and functional substances, which can increase yield and yield. For example, the molecules of nucleic acid are very large and can be cut into "fragments" with a laser knife. Enzymes are used to cut nucleic acids into nucleic acid fragments, which is chemical cutting, while laser knives are physical cutting. The nucleic acid fragments cut by the laser cutting tool will expose non-molecular structure sections at both ends. They may have new physical and chemical properties and functions. This is a topic worthy of further research and development. Using a laser cutter to cut the yeast cell wall is a new breaking technology, which is conducive to extracting RNA. If the nucleus is cut open, it will help extract DNA. It can be seen that the laser cutter in food processing, whether it is practical application or scientific research and development, is worthy of attention.
At present, CNC laser cutting machine has industrial and medical products, and the cutting speed and cutting line can be controlled by a microcomputer. If installed on a food processing production line, it can replace or partially replace dough knives, knives, saw blades and drills, etc. It can use its characteristics to easily change the appearance of certain food processing and develop new products. For example, when using a laser cutter to cut fresh pork, beef, chicken and seafood, it can cut the bone, skin and fiber together, leaving no broken bones, and less bleeding. Gelatinous or semi-fluid things, such as tragacanth gum, jujube paste, donkey-hide gelatin, polygonatum, rehmanniae and oysters, can be cut neatly with a laser cutting equipment. Intensive cutting with a laser cutter can cut the fish meat and the bones together, which not only shortens and thins the bones, solves the problem of the throat of the bones when eating, but also makes the calcium, mucopolysaccharides and chondroitin sulfate in the bones of the fish bones. The beneficial ingredients are used. The same method is also applied to poultry bones and shell processing. The laser cutting system can also make plant crude fibers, wood, etc., become "soft" like edible fibers. Because the speed of light of the laser beam is astonishingly fast, the laser cutting machine can also be used to cut and smash the unfixed objects in water or other liquids, which has considerable practical value when processing special foods.