Dairy Processing and Equipment / Equipment / Operations
Detection systems

X-ray, metal detection and checkweigh roundtable: The discussion continues online

X-ray and metal detection play an important role in food safety and checkweighers are key to package weight consistency.

In January's article "Inspection gadgets," leading suppliers shared their expertise and talked about what’s new in detection systems. In this dairyfoods.com exclusive, we include responses from some of these experts not included in the magazine article.

Meet the Panel of detection system experts:

Rick Cash, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Steve Gidman, Fortress Technology Young
Todd Grube, Heat and Control
Ray Kondracki, Yamato Corp., Mequon, Wis.
Bob Ries, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Ray Spurgeon Jr., Eriez
Laura Studwell, Loma Systems
Christopher Young, Anritsu Industrial Solutions USA

We asked: What equipment works best for inspection of: Fluid milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt?

Gidman: A metal detector can be used in any conceivable configuration (providing packaging does not contain metal) X-ray technology is limited to either conveyor or pipe‐line applications. Metal detectors are by far the industry standard for contaminant detection equipment in the dairy industry. Understanding the advantages and limitations of each technology is essential.

Young: Pipeline X-ray can be a good solution to detect extremely small contaminants however it may be more cost effective to look at the final package or case since the detection levels are still very good compared to conventional metal detectors. Also, closed packed inspection ensures that no additional contamination can enter the product.

Loma Alpine inspection system
Loma Conveyor system

Studwell: The systems that are best suited for the inspection of fluid milk, depending on what you are trying to detect, are either the metal detector pipeline or the X-ray pipeline. The systems that are best suited for the inspection of ice cream and yogurt, depending on the product state, are the metal detector pipeline, the X-ray pipeline or the metal detector conveyor system if packaged. The system that is best for cheese is the X-ray inspection system with the optional X-weigh feature.

Spurgeon: It is best to first scan these using a metal detector in the pipeline followed by a metal detector or X-ray system after the product is packaged and sealed. As discussed, any foil seal will require the use of an X-ray system.

Grube: Many factors are involved in determining the best equipment for inspecting a given product. For example, where in the process will the inspection take place? To inspect milk, ice cream, and yogurt prior to packaging would require a pipeline metal detector. After packaging, depending on the type of packaging material used, either a metal detector or X-ray could be used. Any metal films, like those used on many yogurt containers, will dictate the need to use an X-ray system rather than metal detectors. Another important factor is what sensitivities are required, as well as whether or not contaminants other than metals need to be detected. There are lots of variables, and that’s one reason we maintain demonstration centers so the best individual or combination inspection system can be evaluated for each product and application.

Cash: Fluid milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt share something in common — the presence of fat and protein. Each can precipitate or coat the inside of piping with a thin layer that can blind measurement systems like NIR due to its limited penetration into the product stream. The Thermo Scientific E scan system measures through the entire product stream. This brings a more reliable measurement to any dairy pumped product.

Ries: Packaged ice cream, cheese and yogurt are best suited to X-ray inspection due to their high and changeable product effect in a metal detector and the increased use of metalized film or foil in packaging materials. Unpackaged product flows also typically pass through a pipeline metal detector early in the process assuring a batch or lot is safe prior to further processing.

Kondracki: The I-Series definitely falls into this category. It offers the ability to handle a broad range of packaging formats (bags, tubs, cartons, trays, etc.) as well as a feedback control function for higher accuracy. Ultimately, the I-Series can help to achieve a better yield rate as well as labor savings.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Dairy Foods Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Sarah Kennedy

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Bel Brands, Brookings, S.D.

The 170,000-square-foot facility on 48 acres in Brookings has the capacity of producing more than 22 million pounds of cheese annually. That is approximately 1.5 million Mini Babybel portions every day. It makes Original (a Gouda type cheese), Light and Mozzarella.


This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

3/31/15 2:00 pm EST

Raising the bar with in-line mixing and blending technologies: high output with flexibility and low costs

In this webinar, you will be introduced to advanced in-line blending, dosing and mixing technologies that offer high flexible productions, reduced product losses, shorter batch times, uniform products, and reduced ingredient costs. As a result, Food Manufacturers can optimize their productions and increase their profitability.

Dairy Foods Magazine

march dairy foods

2015 March

The cheese issue: A look inside Bel Brands; Karoun Dairies' success; A preview of the WCIC Cheese Show

Table Of Contents Subscribe


What is your favorite way to eat cheese?
View Results Poll Archive


Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube logo 40px 2-12-13  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13google plus

Dairy Foods Buyers Guide

cover df july 2013Resource for buyers in the dairy processing industry to find information on the leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Find Ingredients, Equipment, Distribution, R&D and More.

Start Your Search Today.