X-ray inspection systems provide reliable contamination detection within products in a wide range of retail packaging.
Pumped food inspection
This white paper discusses factors that affect the sensitivity of product inspection equipment on pumped food lines and explores the effectiveness of metal detectors and x-ray systems at various critical control points (CCPs). It also looks at typical pumped food applications and lists key factors that should be considered when installing equipment for optimal inspection.
Metal detectors and x-ray systems have different inspection capabilities which directly impact sensitivity. In addition, product passing through a pipe performs differently to product travelling on a conveyor. Food manufacturers should be aware of these differences prior to choosing and installing product inspection equipment on pumped food lines in order to maximize product safety, minimize the risk of recalls and comply with regulatory standards.
The white paper focuses on the following areas in detail:
- Why submit pumped foods to product inspection?
- Which factors affect the sensitivity of product inspection equipment on pumped food lines?
- Which technology – metal detection, x-ray inspection or both?
- How to establish CCPs for a product inspection system on a pumped food line?
- Which factors should be considered when installing product inspection equipment on a pumped food line?
A final section has been included which advises readers on testing metal detection and x-ray inspection pipeline systems to ensure they continue to reject contaminated product and operate in accordance with the specified sensitivity standard.
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Product inspection systems for pumped products can be used at different stages on a production line depending on the identified CCP.
The benefits of inspecting pumped foods before final processing and packaging are numerous. Contamination detection levels are typically better in the early stages of the production process where unprocessed product can be presented in a shallower depth and with a more uniform (homogeneous) texture than in final closed packs. Catching contaminants early may also allow manufacturers to recover product and feed it back into the line after removal of the contaminants, and helps to prevent damage to downstream processing equipment. Additionally, when installed early in the production process to inspect incoming goods, product inspection systems can serve as a check on suppliers’ quality control.
As the product progresses along the production line, the nature of contaminants can change. Although each processing step can introduce new contaminants (and end of line inspection is advisable), each new step is likely to break existing contaminants down into smaller less detectable pieces, therefore contaminant inspection earlier in the process is easier. Furthermore, at each stage of the production process, value is added to the product. For this reason, it's more cost-effective to reject contaminated product before it's been processed or sealed in its final packaging.