Food (Inspection) for Thought: X-Ray Technology

Metal. Bone. Glass. Plastic. Rubber. Ceramics. Contaminants that you don’t want in your product—yet your operations likely aren’t equipped to protect against them. Truth be told, foreign material contamination is not only possible, but to some degree, promised. The risk is always there, and if you aren’t planning accordingly, it’ll quickly impact your bottom line for the worse. 

The ultimate goal of quality assurance is maintaining ongoing mitigation practices. Step one: recognizing the prevalence of foreign material contamination. If we’ve done our job right, you’re past that step. Next up: determining the best method of resolution for your current product holds.

There’s a range of available equipment that can detect foreign material contamination, the main options being metal detectors and X-ray detectors. While both can be useful at predetermined critical control points, their functionality falls short elsewhere. Why?

Metal detectors are useful for finding metal in food—not bone, glass, plastic, rubber or any other type of contaminant. That’s a significant range of contaminants immediately eliminated before detection even begins. 

Similarly, X-ray detectors are often calibrated based on the density of one type of contaminant. No food contaminant is made the same, meaning detection equipment should be calibrated to find anything (and everything) it can—and, best-case scenario, it’s paired with a trained human eye that can reinforce its findings. 

We understand that versatility is appealing, and the temptation to put your equipment to use outside of its intended purpose is real. Here’s the issue: your equipment is designed to do one specific job in your production line. Nothing else. You might be able to adjust its use to fit your present need—but at what cost? When you force your equipment to become multi-purpose, you ultimately sacrifice quality.

At FlexXray, we use specialized, medical-grade X-ray technology calibrated for the service our expert team of inspectors provide. It isn’t built to match production speeds. It’s built for detailed examination of product on hold for foreign material contamination.

If internal rework is a tool of the past, what can manufacturers do to resolve their product holds and mitigate ongoing foreign material contamination issues? We believe the answer is third party food X-ray inspection.

Our X-ray inspection services provide better accuracy, better cost savings and better results for your brand. If you haven’t worked with us before, and would like to see how we operate, we’re happy to give your team a tour of our operations. If you want to put FlexXray to the test, we’d love to do a free sample test on your product to show you our capabilities. Contact us today!

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