Eagle’s Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX) technology enhances traditional x-ray inspection, providing food processors with unprecedented contaminant detection capabilities.
While standard x-ray systems provide unsurpassed detection of a wide range of dense physical contaminants including metal, glass and calcified bone, they are incapable of detecting thin glass or low-density plastics, rubber, stones and rocks in most food-based products. Finding contaminants in products with complex density levels (high variations in density) can also prove challenging for traditional x-ray inspection systems.
Food processors worldwide are increasingly relying on our superior MDX technology to detect foreign bodies previously unseen by x-ray or other conventional inspection means in difficult product applications.
Using technology pioneered by Eagle for use in the security sector, the ability of MDX to discriminate materials by their chemical composition (atomic number) enables the detection of historically undetectable inorganic contaminants, such as:
- Flat glass
- Rubber and some plastics (plastic detection is dependent on plastic types and requires actual product testing
Eagle MDX technology uses Easy MAT™ software, which allows for faster installation and simplified set-up by auto-learning the material composition of the product. Contaminants with different compositions to that of the product are more easily identified than ever before. Its enhanced human machine interface (HMI) has an intuitive pre-programmed operational interface that effectively removes the need for third party set-up and maintenance.
Furthermore, MDX technology allows food processors to inspect food products in increasingly popular packaging designs, such as fold-out cardboard sandwich packaging and corrugated card encasements that plague traditional x-ray inspection tools.
Image 1: X-ray vs MDX images of golf balls contaminants within bulk potatoes
Image 2: X-ray vs MDX images of stones and glass contaminants within bulk nuts
A growing consumer trend affecting manufacturers is the desire for multi-textured foods, such as bags of mixed salad leaves. These types of packaged foods have many density levels, resulting in a ‘busy’ x-ray image, which makes identifying foreign bodies a challenge using traditional x-ray technology.
MDX technology lends itself to inspecting ‘difficult’ or ‘busy’ images that contain varied density distribution and is especially valuable for inspecting bulk and packaged food like bags of mixed salad leaves, cereals, nuts and confectionery that contain high variations in density.
Dual-energy technology is also capable of detecting rocks, golf balls and rubber grommets in potatoes. MDX also makes it possible to detect flat glass and stone in mixed nuts and cereal, both of which can be challenging to detect using standard x-ray systems, depending on the application.
By enabling food contaminants to be removed before reaching the customer or supermarket shelves, MDX technology can help to avoid product recalls, as well as play a key role in protecting manufacturers’ brands and the welfare of consumers.