X-ray Inspection Systems for Processed Food
What Is Processed Food?
The term “processed food” refers to any food that goes through processing, which is a series of mechanical or chemical processes done to alter or preserve the food.
Items that fall into the category of processed foods are usually packaged in a box or a bag, and they contain more than one item on the list of ingredients. For preservation, they generally have additives that will increase the shelf life of the food.
Foods go through varying levels of processing, and those that require more processing have a greater risk of contamination by foreign materials. Essentially, the more steps there are in the process, and the more ingredients that are added, the more the product is at risk for having some sort of physical hazard.
Examples of Processed Food
The types of processed food enjoyed by consumers range from minimally processed food, such as bagged salads or chopped broccoli, to more processed ready-to-eat foods like crackers and granola, to ultra-highly processed foods such as pre-made meals including frozen pizza and microwavable dinners.
Our X-ray food inspection system is one of the most reliable and efficient ways to ensure that no product ends up on retail shelves that doesn’t belong there.
We can inspect all types of processed foods, including:
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Potato chips, crackers, pretzels and snacks
- Frozen/microwavable meals
- Breakfast foods (cereals, oatmeal, breakfast bars, breakfast sandwiches, toaster pastries)
- Frozen protein goods (burger patties, chicken breasts, veggie burgers)
- Frozen pies and pastries
- Ice cream, dairy dips, cheese and yogurt
- Protein bars, granola bars and candy bars
- Burritos and chimichangas
How Food Processing Equipment Leads to Contamination
Regardless of where they fall on the processed food spectrum, every type of food processed in a facility has some risk of contamination.
Frozen vegetables, for example, could be contaminated with stones from the field in which they were harvested. Meanwhile, a heavily processed food item, such as a frozen pizza that has many ingredients, has more opportunities for contamination because more steps are required for preparation.
At each step, there’s a possibility for foreign materials to find their way into the food. And, as food moves through the production line, the number of potential physical hazards increase.
For example, the machinery used to process the food can break down or wear out — which leads to pieces of equipment accidentally being introduced into the food.
A few examples of these types of contaminants are:
- Rubber gaskets
- Metal from loose pieces of equipment such as nut and bolts
- Plastic pieces from broken food scrapers or buckets
- Pieces of blades broken during the grinding or blending process
In some cases, the items put into place to help minimize the risk of foreign material contamination can actually contribute to the problem. For example, if an inspection fails to notice worn parts on screens or filters, and those parts break, they can end up in the food.
The type of objects most likely to cause contamination will vary from one food processing company to the next, so it’s important that each operation evaluates what ingredients or products are coming into the facility, how the product is processed, and what potential threats might exist to allow contaminants into that process.
Let FlexXray Eliminate Foreign Contaminants in Your Processed Food
When it comes to detecting and eliminating physical contaminants in your food, FlexXray is the leading provider of solutions.
Any time you suspect you have a contamination issue with your processed food, we offer inspection services that can be performed quickly at any of our three locations throughout the U.S.
If you suspect that you have a problem with your processed food product, FlexXray is here to help. Our efficient, streamlined process saves you the cost, headache and bad publicity of such things as an FDA frozen food recall.
With the highest concern for your customers and the most advanced food X-ray inspection technology available, FlexXray exceeds all safety standards — and your expectations.
“I would recommend FlexXray because I have seen the work that they conduct for this plant and it is always high quality.”
— Quality Control Manager at a Food Processing Facility
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