Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 69

EQUIPMENT
Inspection Systems

When diversifying product
and package sizes, metal
detection, X-ray and other
systems must be on point.
by Joanie Spencer

F

For many baked foods and snack producers, diversification is everything, especially for those who
have shifted production from bulk packaged items
for foodservice customers to smaller, often singleserve packs at retail.
Creating different-sized products comes with
several considerations, and bakers and snack makers should be cognizant of the implications that come
with metal detection, X-ray and other inspection systems to ensure that, no matter what type of product, it's
going out the door in safe condition.
As consumer demands - as well as the foodservice and
retail landscapes overall - have drastically changed in recent months, inspection technology is prepared to keep up.
"Metal detectors have evolved considerably in recent
years, addressing product effect, product orientation
and automated testing technology," said Steve Mason,
sales manager at Fortress Technology. "False product
rejects, improved safety standards, total cost of ownership, reduced machine downtime and new codes of
practice are key factors driving innovation in inspection equipment."
Checking all these boxes requires planning ahead for
product variations and the implications they may have
for their inspection.

Making an aperture match
Aperture is, arguably, the most important thing to consider when incorporating an inspection system for a variety of product sizes.
"A large-aperture metal detector is less sensitive to
contaminants than a detector with a small aperture,"

said Camilo Sanchez, product inspection product manager, metal detection, Mettler Toledo.
It's not only about width but also height, where the
smaller aperture dimension has the most impact on sensitivity. The geometric center is the least sensitive, the
corners are the most, and all the other points fall somewhere in between. So, depending on how the equipment
is designed, the detectable contaminant could have to be
up to two times bigger at the center of a rectangular aperture than it would at the corners.
"Because of this, we always recommend the customer
precisely measure the dimensions of all products to be
run on the metal detector to ensure getting the most
effective aperture size," Mr. Sanchez said.
Getting the correct aperture can also depend on the
type of product coming down the line. While dry products like snacks or finished breads can be fairly easy to
inspect, wet items like warm breads and doughs are
more conductive and create the product-effect signal,
making the inspection a bit more complex.
"This signal needs to be canceled out before inspection
can be successful," Mr. Sanchez said. "The product-effect

For their inspection
systems, food manufacturers must determine
whether their products
require a single- or multifrequency unit or multispectrum technology.
Heat and Control

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