At a time when poultry processors seek to avoid recalls of any kind, taking steps to safeguard their products is paramount. Delivering on promises of safety and quality includes inspecting poultry products for contaminants of all types and sizes, including the smallest bone fragments. Advances in technology, including new detector technologies, help processors find calcified bone fragments down to 1 mm in size.
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When there is little margin for error in food safety and profitability, there is little tolerance for contaminants that get in the way.
Finding the proverbial needle in a haystack is crucial in today’s competitive, uncertain marketplace. It’s especially true in the poultry industry, which has inherent challenges in both the products being produced and the manufacturing environment.
Success in finding and removing contaminants that pose food safety and recall risks depends on the type of poultry product. Different detection technologies work best with certain applications. One line might be set up with a machine to inspect incoming raw material and another machine after the grinder; another might have a machine deployed after deboning and again after packaging.
Here are three examples of systems that work for different applications.
- Pumped products: It’s imperative to remove contaminants including bone fragments in pumped poultry products prior to further processing or packaging. Inspection at this stage reduces rework, product loss and package material waste. Single energy x-ray technology utilized in pipeline inspection systems work well in finding contaminants in pumped products and are effective in high-speed lines. Eagle’s Pipeline x-ray machine uses SimulTask™ PRO image processing software that provides advanced image analysis and delivers high performance detection results.
- Raw and unpackaged products: A host of small contaminants and unwanted bone potentially lurk in bulk, raw and unpackaged poultry, including chicken breasts moving down the line prior to further processing. With new breakthrough Performance X-ray Technology (PXT™) added to the RMI 400 x-ray machine, poultry packers and processors can find bone fragments down to 1 mm in raw materials or poultry product intended for the retail market. The detection technology features smaller diodes with a smaller pitch that captures more product information. This arrangement provides the highest resolution images with better contrast for detecting bone and other contaminants.
- Packaged Products: Before poultry products are transported to consumers, manufacturers can check packaged items for contaminants, including materials that may have been introduced at some point during further processing. For example, the Eagle Pack 400 HC inspects packaged poultry products for a range of potential hazards, including glass, metal, bone and some plastic and rubber compounds and performs checks for package integrity and product quality issues.
For a wide variety of poultry applications, processors can use the recently developed PXT™ detection technology for finding bone fragments among other contaminants in fresh, frozen, bulk flow and retail chicken and turkey products in both single and multilane setups. With radically enhanced images and product details, PXT™ helps operators reduce costly false rejects and improve uptime. PXT™ is the new standard in poultry x-ray inspection.
Expect such refinements to continue within and beyond the poultry industry, as manufacturers and x-ray experts work to protect consumers, products and brands from hazards and inconsistencies that compromise safety and satisfaction.
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