Benefits of Early Contaminant Detection
Given their vulnerability, children are one of the most sensitive groups of consumers to produce for. This, coupled with instant reactions from parents, the public and the media means that manufacturers need to ensure that sub-standard or non-conforming product doesn’t find its way on to the market and into the hands of consumers.
Contamination detection systems can be installed in production lines to inspect baby food or infant formula before it reaches the packaging stage. Systems inspect 100% of the application, detecting and removing the section of product containing foreign bodies.
But what are the benefits of contaminant detection early in the process?
- The product tends to be more homogenous and, therefore, simpler to inspect, without packaging variants to consider.
- Contaminants tend to be larger and easier to detect.
- Removal of foreign bodies will protect valuable downstream processing equipment from damage.
- Contaminants are safely removed prior to packaging, minimizing waste and reducing costs.
The production process, application and likelihood of contaminant type determine the best product inspection solution for optimum quality assurance. Here are some technology solutions based on application and production process:
Pipeline or Pumped Systems for Wet or Dry Baby Food Applications
- Optimum Detection Technology #1: Pipeline Metal Detector.
Detection heads are designed to deliver unrivalled sensitivity detecting even difficult to find non-magnetic stainless steels. Heads and systems are designed for minimized length allowing them to be inserted into new or existing lines where space is restricted. With a sealing standard more than IP66 rating, this type of metal detector is designed to operate in the harshest of process environments.
- Optimum Detection Technology #2: X-ray Pipeline System.
This technology detects foreign bodies including glass, metal, mineral stone, calcified bone, high density plastic and rubber compounds. Solutions are available to inspect applications at high throughput rates depending on pipe diameter and flow rate, without damaging the product. The sealing standard is IP69 which is ideal for harsh wash-down environments.
Vertical, Form, Fill and Seal (VFFS) for Dry Baby Foods
- Optimum Detection Technology #1: Throat Metal Detector.
Advanced metal detection technology now provides a 20% improvement in spherical sensitivity compared to previous configurations. This means significantly smaller irregular shaped metal contaminants can be detected, enhancing overall product quality and protecting brand reputation. Metal detectors are particularly suitable in instances where metallized film packaging materials are used in VFFS bagging operations. Inspection of the product takes place immediately before it enters the bag, overcoming limitations created by the wrapping material to ensure that the highest levels of sensitivity are achieved.
Gravity Fall for Powders & Granules
- Optimum Detection Technology #1: Gravity Fall Metal Detector.
Systems are designed for minimised height allowing them to be installed in applications where space is restricted. The use of high frequency technology combined with enhanced filtering techniques deliver the highest levels of sensitivity across all metal types, including the normally difficult to detect non-magnetic stainless steels. Non-spherical contaminants such as wire, swarf and slithers of metal are also detected.
Bulk Flow for Dry, Wet or Frozen Baby Foods
- Optimum Detection Technology #1: Bulk Flow X-ray System.
The technology is designed to provide optimum detection sensitivity levels irrespective of changes in product temperature or moisture, thus minimizing false rejects. A multi-lane scoop device ensures that only a small portion of the product is rejected when a contaminant is detected, thereby reducing waste and protecting bottom line performance for baby food manufacturers.
For information about how you can prevent non-conforming packaged baby food and infant formula leaving your manufacturing facility please read our white paper: Food Safety: Packaged Baby Food & Infant Formula.
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