• 10 NOV 15

    Metal Detection or X-ray Inspection – What’s the Difference?

    Food safety depends on the level of due diligence exercised during the production process and the rigour with which manufacturers keep contaminants out of finished products. The choice of product inspection equipment can have a huge effect on food safety and quality, as well as on retailers’ and consumers’ confidence.

    Metal detection, x-ray inspection or both is a highly-discussed topic among food manufacturers and this blog post is the first in a series of blogs aimed at simplifying the choice between the two competing technologies by explaining their capabilities and limitations in more detail.

    Metal Detection

    Food manufacturers have been using industrial metal detectors for food product inspection since the 1960s at Critical Control Points (CCPs) in many production processes where a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) audit has identified the risk of metal contaminants.

    Modern metal detectors can identify all metals, including ferrous, non-ferrous and both magnetic and non-magnetic stainless steels. Systems can be installed to inspect incoming raw materials before processing, at the end of production or packaging lines, and at countless other locations in the manufacturing process.

    X-ray Inspection

    X-ray systems first appeared on production lines in the late 1980s and are widely used by manufacturers to ensure food safety and quality.

    X-ray inspection equipment is capable of detecting a wider range of physical contaminants than metal detectors, including metal, glass, mineral stone, calcified bone, and high-density plastics and rubber compounds.

    In addition to catching contaminants before products leave the factory, x-ray detection systems are multi-tasking quality assurance systems which are capable of simultaneously performing a variety of in-line food quality checks, such as:

    • Measuring mass
    • Counting components
    • Identifying missing or broken products
    • Checking fill levels
    • Inspecting seal quality and
    • Checking for damaged product and packaging


    METTLER TOLEDO has a white paper entitled Metal Detection, X-ray Inspection or Both? Click here to find out more

    Next week’s blog reviews the performances of metal detection and x-ray inspection across a range of applications to help readers determine which system is best suited to their own application.

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