Regulatory efforts such as the Food Safety Modernization Act mean food manufacturers are demanding greater flexibility and stepped-up performance from metal detection gear.
Bill Makely of Mettler Toledo told FoodProductionDaily that the evolution of metal detection equipment in recent years has been largely driven by concerns about FSMA and other regulations.
“Demands on metal detection technology have come mainly from the food safety regulations resulting from FSMA, and the mandatory requirement for metal detection in many commercial food processing operations,” he said. “This means that metal detectors must be able to perform in many different processing environments and with many different food products.”
The company’s recent metal detection introductions include the PowerPhasePro, a digital metal detector that guards against stainless, ferrous and non-ferrous metal contamination. Designed for use in processing and packaging lines, the system is engineered in part to meet the food industry’s hunger for flexibility, capabilities and ease of use.
“The system can inspect multiple products with a single setting, since the detector runs all product settings simultaneously,” Makely said. He added that the machine is set to instantly recognize a different product on the line and change over, reducing the chance of false rejects and fitting the needs of food processors with diverse product lists.
Other features food firms are looking for in their detection systems, Makely said, include reduced energy consumption. Mettler Toledo offers (and is working on) systems such as x-ray machines that use high-sensitivity, low-power x-rays.
Additionally, regulations such as FSMA call for thorough recording and reporting of inspection data. As such, food firms will be looking for systems like Mettler Toledo’s ProdX, which integrates all the inspection gear in a facility with plant operating systems, and with other company facilities.
“Inspection data is captured and stored in a location where it is available for instant recall when needed,” Makely said.