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Unformatted text preview: ngles, looking for flaws. When a french fry with a blemish
was detected, an optical sorting machine time-sequenced a single burst of compressed air that knocked the bad fry off the production line
and onto a separate conveyer belt, which carried it to a machine with tiny automated knives that precisely removed the blemish. And then
the fry was returned to the main production line.
Sprays of hot water blanched the fries, gusts of hot air dried them, and 25,000 pounds of boiling oil fried them to a slight crisp. Air cooled
by compressed ammonia gas quickly froze them, a computerized sorter divided them into six-pound batches, and a device that spun like an
out-of-control lazy Susan used centrifugal force to align the french fries so that they all pointed in the same direction. The fries were sealed in
brown bags, then the bags were loaded by robots into cardboard boxes, and the boxes were stacked by robots onto wooden pallets. Forklifts
driven by human beings took the pallets to a freezer for storage. Inside that freezer I saw 20 million pounds of french fries, most of them
destined for McDon...
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- Spring '08