When your manufacturing company operates within the food industry, ensuring the safety and quality of your products is very important. Throughout the manufacturing process, your products are exposed to a range of potential pollutants, ranging from machinery hardware to other food sources. Despite the availability of various inspection techniques, an X-ray food inspection system emerges as a more accurate and better approach compared to other options.
Leveraging X-rays can enable you to build a robust screening process with the ultimate objective of ensuring that your food products consistently remain free from contaminants. In this article, let’s explore the benefits your business can get from X-ray product inspection.
How X-Ray Food Inspection Equipment Works
X-ray food inspection equipment works based on the principle that X-rays lose some of their electromagnetic energy as they pass through food substances. When an X-ray encounters a denser area, such as that created by a metal contaminant, its energy is further diminished. This reduction in energy is visualized in the X-ray image as a grayscale representation.
The denser the contaminant appears in the image, the easier it becomes to identify it. This concept is akin to the X-rays employed in airport luggage scanning but with advanced capabilities to scan numerous items per second.
Why Use X-Ray Food Screening Process?
Inspecting food items with an X-ray machine is the most effective approach for detecting physical contamination. The main distinction between X-ray and other screening methods, including high-end metal detectors, is its ability to identify things like stainless steel, fish bones, and others in food products. Stainless steel is the most commonly used metal in food preparation, making this capability especially vital.
Benefits of X-Ray Product Inspection in the Food Industry
The primary advantage of X-ray systems is their ability to detect a wide range of contaminants, making them ideal for various applications in the food industry, including granulated products and frozen foods. Companies like TDI Packsys offer several X-ray inspection systems to help you inspect your food products for contaminants including glass, metal, stone, plastic, and bones.
Modern X-ray systems serve as multifunctional quality assurance tools capable of identifying and rejecting physical impurities before products are shipped. They conduct a range of inline product integrity checks simultaneously at high line speeds, including mass calculations, component counting, detection of missing or damaged goods, assessment of fill levels, examination of packaging for damage, and validation of seal integrity.
Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance
Although X-ray inspection tools may not be legally mandated, they can assist manufacturers in demonstrating due diligence in controlling and preventing recognized risks related to food contamination.
By demonstrating that manufacturers have evaluated all hazards to food safety and dedicated resources to mitigate them, X-ray inspection and analysis equipment can assist manufacturers in showing they have exercised due diligence.
X-ray systems also enhance production line traceability and help identify potential entry points for physical contaminants. The automated reject unit removes contaminated products from the production line promptly, allowing manufacturers to document the frequency and type of rejections.
High Return on Investment (ROI)
In 2021, the United States witnessed a staggering 270 food and beverage recalls, some of which were associated with foreign material contamination.
These recalls carry a significant financial burden, with an estimated average direct cost of $10 million USD per recall and instances where losses exceeded $100 million. The financial implications of recalls encompass expenses such as alert publications, product retrieval and transport, and revenue loss.
As a result, investing in X-ray inspection for contamination identification and quality control offers a substantial ROI. Advanced technologies can improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness and lower the total cost of ownership.
X-ray inspection equipment’s compact footprint allows one machine to handle multiple inspection tasks simultaneously, streamlining line changeovers and reducing downtime risks.
Protect Brand Name
X-ray systems play a pivotal role in shielding brand reputations and mitigating the risk of food recalls and subsequent customer complaints. By identifying contaminated or defective products within the confines of the factory, these systems act as a robust frontline defense.
As a result, consumers and retailers continue to place trust in the quality and safety of your products. This preventative approach contributes significantly to preserving brand value and consumer loyalty, ultimately fortifying the long-term sustainability of businesses in the food industry.