A revolutionary solution for processing frozen spinach, JBT Urtasun’s patented Hydrocutter provides an innovative system that is not only more efficient, but which also significantly improves product quality and helps ensure maximum food safety.

Far removed from mechanical cutting systems, the Hydrocutter uses a precise, directed jet of water to gently separate individual spinach leaves without damaging the product and ending up with a pulpy, unattractive mass.

The Hydrocutter also has important advantages when it comes to maintenance and hygiene, requiring far less maintenance than mechanical cutters, while the use of a waterjet means there is a significantly reduced risk of contamination occurring during processing.

“The Hydrocutter allows us to completely change the way frozen spinach is processed, delivering a far higher quality final product,” says Iñigo Pardo, Global Sales Manager for JBT Urtasun.

So how does it work? Pardo explains: “After cooking the spinach in an integrated blancher-cooler, we create a uniform layer of product with controlled thickness (normally around 50 mm) and controlled density. This layer is then cut into different portions (around 50 mm x 50 mm) with different weights, before it goes into go the freezer. The end result is a really high quality product. It is similar to a multi-layer of spinach leaves, and when the customer cooks it at home, they will obtain real leaves of spinach in their meal.”

Moreover, Pardo says the process is considerably more efficient than other methods because customers don’t suffer product losses as the spinach moves through the different stages. “With conventional blade cutting, you always lose some of the product along the way,” he adds.

Protecting product quality

By its very design, the Hydrocutter is hugely beneficial when it comes to product quality. Rather than crudely separating blocks of spinach with a mechanical knife, the system ensures the integrity of individual spinach leaves is preserved.

“When you cut in this way, it produces portions of spinach comprised of whole leaves,” says Pardo. “With the traditional process, the product is frozen into big blocks which is then cut with a mechanical saw. The problem with this traditional method is that leaves are torn and broken with the result that some of the finished product resembles puree. With the Hydrocutter, you receive an end product comprised of whole leaves, so the quality as a whole is much better.”

In Pardo’s opinion, quality, efficiency and hygiene are the three key advantages of the Hydrocutter, and go a long way towards explaining what the system has rapidly proved popular. “This is a completely new, patented and safe solution for frozen spinach, which is now being adopted by increasing numbers of companies across the industry,” he says. “It can easily be combined with a Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT Spiral Freezer as part of a complete processing line for frozen spinach.”

FIND OUT MORE about the JBT Urtasun Hydrocutter for Spinach