A water jet cutting machine was used to slice potato tubers, and characteristics of the cut surfaces were studied. Irregularities on the cut face were visualized by staining with a nonspecific protein stain. The amount of protein extractable from the cut face was measured and used to quantitate the cellular damage resulting from different water jet operational conditions. Observations were confirmed with scanning electron microscopy. A wide range of water jet settings could be used to cut potato slices. French fries cut with the water jet set to cause intermediate subsurface damage had increased color irregularities but no extreme taste or textural differences compared to conventionally cut controls.