The Crucial Role of X-ray Inspection Machines in the Food Industry

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Food safety has always been a top concern for food producers, but today’s consumers are paying more attention than ever to food quality and safety risks. With each report of food contamination — whether it’s from a chemical, biological or physical hazard — consumers grow more wary, and retailers and food manufacturers alike are looking for more ways to safeguard themselves from the headaches and bad press that accompany incidents.   

The more that food production processes expand and innovate, the more threats and challenges food manufacturers face when it comes to keeping their food products safe. This has created a need for greater transparency in the food supply chain — and amplifies the need for better screening and detection processes.

Stricter Guidelines Call for Better Food Screening Processes

More stringent standards for food safety are good for everyone; they are designed to protect the consumer from illness or injury, protect the reputation of retailers who sells the product and prevent the manufacturer from putting contaminated food on the shelves — which can lead to costly lawsuits, recalls or even shut down operations entirely.

Given the cost and amount of damage that can be incurred through a single recall, many retailers today are requiring that their suppliers use X-ray screening as part of their HACCP program to ensure the safety of the product.

The Difference in X-ray Food Screening

X-ray inspection of food provides a superior way to identify physical contaminants. One of the most important differences in X-ray technology and other screening processes is that X-ray equipment can find stainless steel in products, which other forms of food screening — including high-end metal detectors — cannot find.

This is particularly significant since stainless steel is the most commonly used metal in food processing. And, according to the FDA, other types of detection also depend on the metal being orientated in a way that the scanner or detector can locate it. Other factors, such as the ambient humidity and product acidity, can also affect the product’s conductivity and prevent the metal from being detected by other screening processes.

X-ray inspection technology also has the ability to find increasingly small foreign particles. For example, FlexXray’s advanced system can find contaminants as tiny as 0.2mm — and even smaller in some cases.

While metal is a major source of physical contamination, many other types of physical hazards can find their way into food sources. Depending on the type of food, where it is grown and what manufacturing process it goes through, this can include rubber, bone, wood, stone, plastic, glass and more. X-ray technology can find any dense matter that doesn’t belong, creating a safer product for consumers and giving both manufacturers and retailers the peace of mind that they’re supplying customers with the best, safest food product possible.


X-ray Offers Smarter Food Solutions

X-ray food inspection machines have become so sophisticated that they can distinguish the difference between contaminants and anomalies like metal retaining clips or packaging. They can handle a variety of different formats, from cans and bottles to meat products and bulk food. As threats to food safety increase, so does the value of X-ray technology.

While the technology plays a crucial role in finding contaminants and ensuring food safety, the X-ray inspection machine is also key in conducting integrity checks.

Through X-ray inspection, it’s now possible to measure the mass of a product, monitor the fill levels, check for damaged products or packaging, inspect the product seal, and more. It can also find what’s not there, too, identifying when an item is missing, such as a piece of candy absent from a tray inside a box of chocolates.  

Because it offers such an extreme level of efficiency and accuracy, many manufacturers now rely on X-ray inspection to ensure that products are not only meeting food safety guidelines and the standards of retailers, but are meeting the high standards of their own brand every time.

Taking Food Safety to the Next Level with X-ray Inspection Machines

With the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, the focus of food safety changed from reacting to food contamination problems to preventing them. X-ray technology allows manufacturers to have insights that other forms of screening, such as metal detection, simply cannot provide.


For many food manufacturers around the world, it is becoming increasingly clear that X-ray inspection is essential to ensuring food safety. However, that doesn’t mean that all food manufacturers must invest in sophisticated X-ray technology.

Partnering with an experienced X-ray provider like FlexXray means that you can have access to all of the benefits of X-ray inspection without shouldering the expense and other factors that come from installing your own equipment. And, as technology continues to improve, so will we, maintaining our position on the cutting edge of food safety — and allowing you to do the same.  


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