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Dual X-ray system weeds out contaminants and wonky products

By Rory Harrington , 08-Jun-2012

Productivity boosts and greater compliance rates with quality and safety parameters are benefits claimed by Mettler Toledo Safeline for its new high-speed X-ray system for processed formed foods that not only detects foreign objects in products but also spots shape defects.

The UK-based company said its InspireX R40LF-800 System has been developed to automate the examination of loose foods such as hamburger patties, chicken nuggets and bakery products.

Cooking times

The firm said that as well as offering “exceptional detection of unwanted foreign bodies such as bone, glass and metal”, the equipment is “uniquely designed” to scan the formed foods to ensure their shapes matches specification.

The advanced system is able to assess properties such as the roundness of hamburgers and indentations caused by defective forming.

“The system can simultaneously detect flakes of meat on surfaces that adversely affect cooking time and can lead to undercooked patties, which can jeopardise consumer health and compromise brand integrity,” a Mettler Toledo Safeline spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com.

The equipment weeds out misshapen products thanks to software which gives it the ability to monitor and track each patty or nugget as it passes through the system. The full-colour touchscreen as the Human Machine Interface (HMI) makes the software very user-friendly, added the firm.

Waste and cost savings

The X-ray technology compares each product with a stored ideal food product image and can detect size variations as small as 1mm across the full range of the conveyor belt.  Mettler said it is able to scan up to six product lanes at the same time.

When defective products are found, air nozzles lining the conveyor automatically push them into a reject bin below the unit.

Rejected products are then segregated so that defects, such as shape irregularities, are seized and reworked. This minimises waste, saves costs and increases productivity, said the firm.

The equipment also discards contaminated products – preserving the quality of outputs and before they incur more costs travelling along the processing line.

Quick product changeovers are possible with an adjustable dial that can alter the size of the rejection aperture according to the size of the food item, enhancing manufacturing flexibility and efficiency, added the company.

“The InspireX R40LF-800 System is an enabling technology for the growing convenience food market, ensuring quality inspection at high speeds,” said company marketing manager said Daniela Verhaeg.

She added: “It offers food manufacturers a boost to their productivity and enables them to comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based industry safety initiatives, such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards Version 6, enhancing brand reputation while protecting consumers from undercooked meat.”

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