Application Note

Reverse Metal Detection – Detecting The Presence Of Required Metallized Components In Food Products

By Yuanjun Chloe Lu, Application Specialist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Store shelves GettyImages-672450320

Industrial metal detectors are most commonly used for detecting unwanted metal contaminants that are accidentally introduced into products at various stages of the production process at food and other manufacturing facilities. The metal contaminants can come from pieces broken off from blending and molding devices within the production process, as well as personal items such as hairpins and equipment hardware such as screws and bolts. If foreign contaminants are not properly detected and removed prior to products hitting the shelf at retailers, it will potentially lead to consumer complaints, or worse, consumer injury, and could ultimately damage a brand’s reputation overnight.

A typical industrial metal detector can pick up the metal signal and reject the product or batch that are contaminated, preventing massive product rework or even a product recall. The ability to detect metal in a product also creates an alternative application for industrial metal detectors, defined as reverse detection application. Reverse detection capability is most useful for applications in which a metal or metallized component’s presence is key to quality control of the final products. For these applications, instead of detecting and rejecting the product or package that contains metal, manufacturers want to make sure the components that are made of, or contain, metal are present in the product.

Learn about the principle of regular metal detection in comparison to reverse detection in industrial metal detectors, and explore insights on applications and operations.

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