The safety and quality of food will always be a key concern of food manufacturers. Every year there are cases of foreign material contamination that lead to recalls and can compromise consumer safety. The fallout can be expensive and damage a food processor’s brand. For these reasons, food manufacturers must keep their products safe, which requires proactive due diligence such as utilizing inspection equipment.
Metal detectors provide an effective line of defense by detecting ferrous, nonferrous, and stainless-steel metal contaminants in food. Used by food processing facilities for decades, metal detection is a tried-and-true inspection solution, but not without challenges and risks.
Some metal detection challenges are inherent: product effect, the signal seen by the metal detector due to the shape and characteristic of the food product, can be difficult to compensate, leading to missed contaminants or good product being erroneously scrapped. Set-up and tuning of a metal detector can be difficult to complete correctly, which can lead to sub-optimal performance if left unaddressed. But more recently, new inspection challenges have emerged as consumer behavioral changes drive a continuously evolving food processing landscape.
Food manufacturers must now more than ever choose agile processing solutions, including inspection for foreign objects, in response to changing market demands. This need for flexibility has become more evident in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly impacted the global food supply chain.