Application Note

Foreign Object Detection Challenges In Meat Processing


Processing meat products is inherently fraught with risks that present product quality and safety challenges to food processors. First and foremost is to avoid the possibility of biological contamination. This requires diligence in following sanitary processes including harsh and frequent cleaning procedures with wide temperature swings. A rigorous sanitation process such as this creates expensive, albeit necessary downtime. In addition to preventing biological contamination, food processors must also ensure the right processes and equipment are in place to avoid the possibility of unwanted foreign objects entering their process at any stage, including when supplier ingredients are added.

Detection of such physical contaminants can be difficult with metal detection technology because meat products have high product effect that can mimic a foreign object, often necessitating a compromise in sensitivity to avoid false rejections. With temperature, salt content and product size changing during processing, product effect can vary, too, making consistent foreign object detection difficult. It also poses an ongoing challenge to avoid excessive false rejects which increase the potential for costly scrap or rework.

Fortunately, new metal detection technology can help overcome these meat inspection challenges. Multiscan metal detection scans using five user-adjustable frequencies at a time, making it possible to raise the probability of detection and thus improve overall sensitivity. When multiscan is coupled with a design to survive thermal shock, harsh chemicals and software to adapt to constant product changes, food processors can achieve a new level of food safety previously unattainable in meat applications. This new technology is available exclusively in the Thermo Scientific™ Sentinel™ Multiscan Metal Detector.

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