X-ray Inspection Helps Bakers to Meet Safety Requirements

Innovative X-ray inspection systems enable customers all over the world to carry out safe and reliable inspection of raw materials and packaged products, including baked goods. One of the most important tasks is to prevent contamination of food and beverages.

Undetected foreign objects can cause injuries, lead to costly product recalls and cause considerable harm to a company’s public image. Food producers all over the world go to great lengths to avoid these kinds of problems during production as part of industrial standards such as HACCP, IFS and BRC. Various technologies are deployed to detect contamination. Metal detectors are ideal for detecting even the smallest metal foreign objects; vision systems help to identify deviations from parameters such as size, shape and color and hyperspectral imaging is used for the spectral analysis of food or packaging quality. X-ray inspection is another method for detecting foreign objects in a product.

Inken Martens, senior marketing manager with Minebea intec, explained for WorldBakers.com that this type of inspection is appropriate for most packaged baked goods. If the packaging contains foil, metal detection is not a good choice for finished product inspection, the expert says. “In addition to contaminant detection, X-ray machines can offer side benefits that help to improve quality,” Martens says.

If the following capabilities can add to your quality, X-ray may be more valuable to you, the expert adds:  

– Counting — If you sell a defined number of items in a package, X-ray can provide a count check for you. For divided containers, X-ray can check for an item in each compartment. If you sell 12 pieces of candy in a 12-cavity tray, X-ray can check for a piece of candy in each cavity. Likewise, X-ray can count the number of cookies in a bag.

– Fill levels — X-ray can reject underfilled and overfilled containers.

X-ray detection equipment works by using X-ray beams to detect a difference in density in product. “X-ray inspection equipment is effective at finding anything that is more dense than the product itself, but it does not detect items of less density. For example, stones will be detected among raisins or peanuts. But generally a latex glove is not going to be more dense than a baked good and therefore will not be detected,” Martens concludes.

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