Comparing X-Ray Machines and Metal Detectors for Food Inspection

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food inspector tools

A primary concern in the food industry is ensuring all food products are free of contamination. Over the years, food inspector tools have evolved to make the process of keeping food product safer easier and more efficient. Two common food inspector tools that are often used alongside food packaging equipment are x-ray food inspection machines and food metal detectors. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the different uses and functions of the two food inspector tools.

X-Ray Machines for Food Inspection

X-ray food inspection devices take a snapshot of the product using x-rays. Then, this picture is analyzed for any abnormalities. In doing this, the machine measures how effectively the object prevents x-rays from penetrating it, relying on the density of the object for how easily it is detected. Because of this, x-ray machines can easily pick up many non-ferrous and non-ductile contaminants that may not be detected by other types of machines. Additionally, there are many other benefits of using these types of food inspector tools, including:

  • Ability to detect a larger variety of materials
  • Ability to check for missing materials
  • Ability to document contaminants
  • Ability to act as a checkweigher

Metal Detectors for Food Inspection

Using a metal detector will allow for the detection of magnetic or electrical interference, which indicates the presence of metal. The majority of metal detectors nowadays use a system called the balanced coil, full loop system. This system contained three coils which are wrapped around the channel through which the product passes. The transmitter coil continuously emits an electromagnetic field, which causes any products that are magnetic or electrically conductive to generate a disturbance in the electromagnetic field. Because of this, the metal detector will note any presence of a metal contaminant above a pre-set maximum threshold. Using this machine provides many benefits, including:

  • Ability to detect metal contaminants -- the three main groups of metal contaminants that can be detected are Ferrous, Non Ferrous, and Stainless Steel
  • Ability to work well with gravity flow and bulk conveyed products

By using one or both of these inspection tools, a company will be able to make food safety an easy task to handle and feel confident that their products are contaminant-free.