Rinse and repeat: Enhancing commercial produce operations with continuous motion washing equipment

Rinsing fruits and vegetables before eating them makes a lot of sense, whether you’re cooking at home or managing a produce section at your local supermarket. A gentle cleaning rids goods of contaminants that might ruin an otherwise healthy snack, but in a fast-paced grocery store environment, produce may not be getting the attention it needs.

Continuous motion washing technology presents commercial businesses with more than just a new way to clean incoming produce for direct sale or use in the prepared foods department. Equipment like Power Soak System’s Produce Soak could potentially deliver a number of value-added opportunities grocers can capitalize on.

Water conservation
According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the average supermarket uses upwards of 3 million gallons of water annually or more, most of which goes toward evaporative coolers for refrigeration equipment. However, water used to clean produce takes its fair share of the commercial consumption. Continuous motion washing basins make it easier for grocers to track exactly how much water they require to completely wash certain produce and utilize only what they need to get the job done.

Labor efficiency
Repetitive tasks in any business are a breeding ground for waste, especially when it comes to labor costs for employees. As valuable as clean fruits and vegetables are to supermarket sales, produce workers have many other duties on their schedule just as worthwhile to the prolonged success of their company. A faster cleaning process opens up workers’ schedules for everything else they need to accomplish on a given day.

Jets in the Produce Soak’s multiple washing basins rotate goods so every part gets cleaned with limited oversight from the operator. They also work in conjunction with perforated baskets and self-load for quick removal. A single employee can now capably clean dozens of fruits and veggies at the same time without cross-contamination or a missed step.

“It’s difficult to convince shoppers of quality and freshness with discolored stock.”

Merchandising with better color
During the harvesting and shipping process, produce may lose its color because of unavoidable water loss or “chilling injuries,” according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Once these goods reach retailers, it may be difficult to convince shoppers of quality and freshness with discolored stock. After briefly undergoing continuous motion washing, produce can regain its original vibrant complexion, making it more attractive to consumers.

Expanded sourcing options
Supermarket customers demand affordable prices for their produce, but they’re also willing to pay a little extra if it means buying organic or locally sourced goods. Grocers who can connect these hungry shoppers with suppliers that meet these needs can come out on top, so long as they have the resources to accommodate the logistical differences.

For example, small farms may not have the equipment necessary to properly wash produce the same way a large corporate factory farm might. Locally sourced goods from independent suppliers, therefore, could put added operational strain on the retailers. However, thanks to efficiency gains provided by continuous motion washing assets, supermarkets can offer consumers what they want without taking a hit.

To learn more about washing your produce with the right equipment, check out what we offer with Produce Soak.