Metal detector for food production

Metalldetektor für die Lebensmittelproduktion

Metal detector for food production is a specially designed equipment to sense the presence of foreign metal inside food packages, and remove the packages with foreign metal by different methods.

Metal detector is an essential device for food business, especially the packaging process. Any unexpected piece of stray metal in the package will easily ruin a manufacturer’s reputation forever. Fortunately, quality metal detectors for pharmaceutical and food can easily detect the traces of foreign metal that may have contaminated goods during the production process. For example, fragments of food processing equipment can fall off and pose a hazard to consumers, including loose screws and bolts, machine parts, metal tags, screen wire, blades and more. With an inline food grade metal detector, both ferrous and nonferrous metals can be detected with ease, protecting your consumers and brand. 

Metal detector video

Metal detector connects with modified atmosphere packaging line.

Metal detector for food production applications

Metal detectors for food production can be used for virtually any consumable product, including bakery items, meat and sausage, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and even spices and sugar. They can find stainless steel, ferrous metals (cast iron, mild steel, etc.) and non-ferrous metals (copper, lead, aluminum, etc.).

Metal detector for food is fully compatible with our packaging machines. Food products in any packages, including Vakuumverpackung, MAP-Schutzgasverpackung, Vakuum-Hautverpackung, all require food detctor to make sure of food cleaness.

Metal detector for food production features

1. High sensitivity detector, can detect foreign metal as small as 0.3-0.5 mm

2. Easy operation, multi-language (Default Chinese + English language)

3. Customize with various modes

4. Optional: Belt stop on detection of foreign metal, without automatic kick out function

5. Optional: Kick out packages with foreign metal (horizontal push method, belt drop method, etc)

Metalldetektor für die Lebensmittelproduktion
Metalldetektor für die Lebensmittelproduktion
Metalldetektor für die Lebensmittelproduktion

6. Option: conveying belt rotates in counter directions, can save space in certain environments

Metalldetektor für Lebensmittel

7. Adjustable belt rotating speed

Metal detector and weight-checking line

Metal detector and weight checker line automatically detect foreign metal in the packages and check the package weight, then kick out the packages with foreign metal and packages with inaccurate weight separately.

How does metal detector for food production work

Metal detectors operate on the principles of electromagnetic induction. Each system features one or more inductor coils that interact with metallic elements within a product. As shown, a single-coil metal detector uses the same principles as a standard metal detector, just simplified. A pulsing current is applied to the coil, which then induces the magnetic field shown in blue. This magnetic field envelops the area surrounding the metal detector opening, and products pass through this field during inspection.

In addition to the transmitter coil, metal detectors have receiving coils that continuously analyze the magnetic field of the inspection zone.

When metal moves through the magnetic field of the metal detector, such as the coin in this illustration, the field induces electric currents (called eddy currents) in the coin. The eddy currents induce their own smaller magnetic field (shown in red), generating an opposite current that can be picked up by the receiving coil. The metal detector is then able to detect this signal from the eddy current, and will alert to the presence of metal in the inspection area.

Metal detectors for the food industry operate with this same principle and take advantage of the conductivity of the most common metal contaminants to provide a reliable inspection.

What types of metal can food metal detector find

A metal detector for food can detect a wide range of metal contaminants and conductive materials, including both ferrous and nonferrous metals, and some other conductive compounds. Ferrous metals are conductive and contain iron, though many are composed of carbon or other elements combined with iron. The various types of steel are all categorized as ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are usually magnetic, and more prone to rust than nonferrous metals. Nonferrous metals are composed of elements other than iron, and include aluminum, copper, nickel, tin, brass and zinc. Stainless steel can be detected as well, but with varying levels of sensitivity depending on the stainless steel’s specific composition. 

All of these types of metal can be detected by inline metal detectors. The exact amount of each metal needed to trigger detection depends on the conductivity of the metal, as well as the conductivity and size of the product being inspected. Some metal particles that are highly conductive can be detected by an inline metal detector. 

What products can be inspected with a food-grade metal detector

Almost all types of food and beverage products can be inspected with an inline metal detector, as long as they are not packaged with any metallic material. Harvested goods, snack foods, bakery items, proteins, and frozen foods are all viable to inspect with metal detection. This means that a majority of packaged food products can be inspected with a standard food metal detector. 

However, products that are packaged with metallized foil, in metal containers, or with metallic inserts are not recommended to be inspected with food grade metal detectors. These products will conduct the magnetic field of a metal detector in the same way that an actual contaminant would, causing either high false-reject rates (of product without contaminants), or significantly reduced sensitivities of true foreign bodies. X-ray inspection systems are the preferred method for inspecting products packaged with metallic elements, as x-ray does not rely on conductivity during inspection.

Where can a food metal detector be used in food production

Metal detectors for the food industry can be used in a variety of points in the production process. Metal Detection is often used as a critical control point in food production. Where and how a food grade metal detector can be used depends on a few factors:

1. Will the food be packaged or unpackaged during time of inspection?

For food that is packaged, conveyorized metal detector systems often provide the easiest installation with an existing line. For unpackaged food, running the product through a pipeline metal detector (for liquids) or a gravity fed/flow-through metal detector (for powders) might be a better option.

2. Where is the main concern for contamination?

It is always important to consider the point in the process that has the highest risk for contamination. Metal detecting product before it reaches this point might not ensure that your products are free from metal contaminants and might lead to issues with food safety and quality. It is always best to try and inspect product once it has been completely sealed, so that you have the confidence that the product remains metal free throughout the process. 

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