Trade Resources Blog How Is Metal Detected in Food?

How Is Metal Detected in Food?

Tags: metal detector

With food safety and quality control being top priorities, manufacturers have effective methods for detecting metal in food products throughout the production process. Here's a look at some common metal detection techniques:

X-Ray Inspection

Industrial x-ray machines scan foods on conveyor belts for contaminants like glass, stones or metal fragments. High-resolution digital imaging identifies even small, dense items concealed within products. This non-destructive method is often used for bulk, packed, or smaller whole foods.

Magnetic Detection

Using magnetism rather than x-rays, magnetic detectors sense the magnetic field disruption of ferrous (iron-containing) metals as products pass through. Effective for loose foods like flour, cereals and spices but less so for non-ferrous metals. Often the first line of defense in production.

Gravity Fall

Metal contaminants are distinguished from goods using differences in mass/density. Products are dropped through chutes onto sloping, vibrating detection mats where heavier metal pieces separate for easy removal. Used for dried goods after bagging.

Manual Screening

Visual sorting and hand-held metal detectors check finished goods by experienced staff. Product is gently broken apart layer-by-layer on conveyor belts moving past inspectors standing by. Provides human validation of previous checks.

Test Samples

Representative samples are drawn and run through high-power detection systems designed to catch even minuscule threats. Sent off-site for enhanced sensing, magnetic resonance or other evaluative methods if machine screening proves inconclusive.

Combining automated monitoring with human verification at each stage helps maximize protection, product integrity and public health. No single technique is foolproof, so layered checking provides the best insurance against any metal hazards.

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