The regulatory landscape is evolving rapidly, resulting in stricter requirements with regard to food safety and harsher penalties for manufacturers. This article explains 5 key benefits advanced food x-ray inspection solutions offer animal feed producers, poultry manufacturers and the wider meat industry.
Product Recall Protection
Product recalls remain one of the biggest concerns for meat, poultry and feed processors. By detecting a wide range of physical contaminants, including metal, glass, calcified bone, mineral stone and high-density plastic and rubber, x-ray technology helps to ensure against this risk. Advanced food x-ray inspection systems featuring an innovative cupped conveyor and four-lane flap rejector are designed to maximize contaminant detection and removal while reducing product waste, and are ideal for lines processing animal feed and other high-volume bulk foods. Machines are also available which provide reliable quality inspection of unpackaged bulk products, such as chicken and raw beef, at speeds of up to 37 meters per minute (120 FPM). Built specifically to operate within harsh wash-down environments, such systems feature a unique troughed belt which improves product presentation and allows a maximum throughput of 50 tons per hour.
The ability of an inline x-ray inspection system to inspect one hundred percent of product passing along a production line is a huge advantage when it comes to quality assurance. What’s more, for processors of ground meat chubs, and other packaged meat and poultry products, systems are available which eliminate the need for additional product inspection equipment. Featuring multiple quality control inspection capabilities, food x-ray inspection machines provide superior contamination detection while simultaneously measuring mass to avoid costly giveaway and inspecting to ensure the correct number of aluminum clips are present and positioned correctly.
Microbial Contamination Protection
Contaminant detection x-ray systems that can optimize production by performing at high throughput speeds, as well as operate within harsh wash-down environments are essential in the meat, poultry and feed industries. Food x-ray inspection systems are available which have been designed using the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Sanitary Equipment Design Principles and have IP69 ingress protection, enabling them to withstand thorough and rigorous sanitation routines, including high-pressure wash-down procedures to prevent microbial contamination.
Reduced Lean Giveaway
One of the main advances for slaughterhouses and red meat processors is the introduction of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology for fat analysis (FA) purposes. By enabling meat processors to take highly accurate chemical lean (CL) measurements, DEXA can lead to substantial cost benefits in terms of lean meat giveaway and reduce inconsistencies in recipe operations. The latest FA systems meet the needs of manufacturers requiring multiple applications, ranging from fresh, hot-boned, chilled and frozen meat in loose bulk or carton and crate formats, and can help to improve throughout by enabling the inspection of up to 2,400 plastic crates or frozen blocks per hour or up to 55 tons of bulk meat per hour.
Minimal Product Waste
For animal feed producers, advancements in reject mechanisms, such as four-lane and air-blast rejectors, mean bulk loose product can be inspected at high-throughputs and minimal product rejected when a contaminant is detected. Waste can also be reduced and profits increased by using integrated inspection solutions. For example, an integrated poultry inspection system, including trimming stations, x-ray inspection machine and reject facility, enables poultry manufacturers to pass chicken breasts through the x-ray system once trimmed to check for contaminants. If a product doesn’t pass the quality inspection, it can be rejected and sent to a rework station to be physically checked for contaminants and then either rejected or rescanned.