Kyle Thomas, strategic business unit manager of Eagle Product Inspection , told FoodProductionDaily.com that consumer demands help advance shifts in food inspection technology.
“The evolution of the food inspection industry is largely driven by ever-changing consumer trends, such as the growing affinity for convenient food items in today’s more hectic world,” he said.
Thomas added that retailers and brand owners also are placing greater demands upon inspection technology, with packaging constructed in more complex shapes and with new materials.
In addition, Thomas said, food manufacturers are faced with increasing public awareness of safety issues; this is helping drive stricter international regulations and retailer guidelines.
“To be competitive in the market, it is inevitable for manufacturers to comply with these standards,” he said. “Full traceability during the entire supply chain is becoming more and more a topic.”
Thomas said that Eagle Product Inspection is designed to help manufacturers fall in line with such regulations. For example, SimulTask image analysis software enables customers to trace and demonstrate inspection of their products throughout the production process.
While safety regulations vary from region to region, Thomas said, food manufacturers around the globe share a long list of common goals.
“While the awareness for the need of product inspection might differ from market to market, the demands and technologies are global ones,” he said. “Manufacturers that seek to expand their business and strengthen export capabilities must comply with retailer food safety guidelines as well as regional and international regulations.”
Further, Thomas pointed out that inspection systems can help manufacturers demonstrate full traceability in the event of a recall.
Thomas said that demand for food inspection systems is surging in the Chinese market.
“Frequent product recalls have not only led to an increased public awareness for food safety, but have also negatively impacted the image of the Chinese export market,” he said.
At PACK EXPO 2013 Las Vegas (scheduled September 23-25), Eagle Product Inspection will showcase its Eagle Pack 430 system, which uses the firm’s dual-energy Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX). The technology reportedly offers more accurate analysis of a broader range of products than traditional x-rays.
In addition, Thomas said Eagle Product Inspection staff will be on hand to explain its plans to advance inspection technology with PACK EXPO attendees.
“Eagle continues to invest in forward facing initiatives centered on our core competencies of foreign body detection, mass determination, fat analysis, and package integrity,” Thomas said, adding that the firm recently opened research and development centers in US and Germany to further technological development.