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How Advanced Inspection Provides a Truer Picture of Safety and Quality

Food & Beverage, Red Meat

As food and beverage manufacturers look for ways to cut down on product waste, they can use advanced x-ray inspection systems to detect contaminants and assure quality while preventing loss, giveaway and rework. The latest software-based technologies, including dual energy technologies and powerful image analysis software, help food companies optimize their yields and prevent costly and unnecessary false rejects. 

Waste not, want not. As more consumers, companies and global leaders resolve to address the problem of food waste – and it is, to be sure, a real problem, manufacturers are doing their part in finding ways to lower unnecessary product loss, giveaway, and rework. On a broad scale, reducing waste in the food chain is good for the planet and its people. On a manufacturer basis, lowering waste is a practical effort that helps save product, time and costs associated with false rejects on the line, which can happen when there are problems differentiating between acceptable and unacceptable products; a frequent challenge with traditional product inspection equipment.

One way that manufacturers can reduce waste while also ensuring the integrity of their products is through the use of advanced x-ray inspection technologies. X-ray inspection systems have an advantage compared to other traditional means of contaminant detection, such as metal detectors, because they can permeate metalized film without triggering a false reject, providing more accurate results with a lower false reject rate (FRR). Furthermore, x-ray machines with greater sensitivities, powered by the latest software, can better differentiate between “good” and “bad” product to find other physical contaminants beyond metal, while reducing false rejects and providing a true, clear picture of quality products.

Advanced x-ray inspection systems with more accurate image processing software installed at critical control points on the line can also lower or eliminate false rejects that can arise during quality checks used to determine fill level, mass measurement, component count or package integrity. Getting it right the first time means less loss or product rework down the line.

The ability to discern “good” from “bad” product or portions is especially important in products with high variations in density, such as bags of mixed salads leaves or nuts because locating foreign body contaminants becomes more difficult even for standard x-ray systems. To address those challenges and prevent false rejects of such items, Eagle’s Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX) dual energy technology can be used to differentiate materials by their chemical composition increasing the accuracy of contaminant detection and food safety.

Eagle continues to improve its technologies, including MDX and the image processing software SimulTask™ PRO. The SimulTask™ PRO software, for example, features the latest processing algorithms and the highest greyscale on the market, with 65,535 values limiting false rejects by identifying even the most subtle differences within a product.

By significantly lowering or essentially eradicating false rejects, manufacturers can cut down on product waste, improve their yields, maximize their efficiencies and focus on what they do best.

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