As public scrutiny of food manufacturers continues to escalate and consumers increasingly turn to social media to voice complaints, snack processors have become more reliant on food inspection equipment to protect consumers and reduce the risk of brand-damaging product recalls in order to stay ahead of their rivals.
However, many snack applications can prove challenging for traditional product inspection equipment.
The unique challenges manufacturers face when striving to produce safe and quality-assured snacks can be summarized in the following issues. Different snacks and packaging types require different product inspection solutions and selecting the right system is crucial to guarantee maximum detection sensitivity and high throughput. In many cases, there’s only one suitable solution (metal detection or X-ray inspection) and in many others, either technology could be used. What do you find is most valuable in attending industry events like Food Safety Summit and IAFP?
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That’s because more consumers are snacking today than ever before and snacking more frequently.
Often snacks contain a wide variety of ingredients that are all open to different types of contaminants.
Metalized film and foil are used to package various snacks, including energy bars and chocolate. Many snacks, such as bags of trail mix and granola bars, contain high variations in density because of the multitude of ingredients.

Color and hand sorting are frequently used to remove rocks and other visual defects from loose flow bulk snacks foods, such as almonds, but neither method is entirely accurate as stones are similar in shape and color to the product. Proper portioning and seal integrity are another two major concerns for snack manufacturers. Occasions also exist where it may be necessary to install both technologies at different Critical Control Points (CCPs) on the same line. For cost-effectiveness, metal detectors usually offer the best solution when looking to detect ferrous and non-ferrous metal, stainless steel, and aluminium contaminants. The digital issues are replicas of our print publication and available to view free of charge. In fact, it’s estimated that on average, 24 percent of our daily calorie intake comes from snacks. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts may be contaminated with stones or a piece of wire from the farm, while dairy products can be suspect to metal or plastics from processing. When they pass through a metal detector, they can create a disturbance of the detection field, triggering false rejects. Inspecting these products using metal detectors can lead to reductions in the level of achievable sensitivity. Finding physical contaminants in these products can prove challenging for traditional X-ray inspection systems as the varying densities create “busy” X-ray images. Visual inspection methods are also limited to the top layer, which means anything that can’t be seen, won’t be identified or removed.

Individual bars and boxes with multiple bars can be underweight, overweight, deformed, or broken. Product temperature and moisture content can also affect a metal detector’s detection sensitivity. In some cases, if the metalized film is especially thick, it’s preferable to inspect products before packing. Additionally, during the sealing process, bits of food can get trapped in product seals, creating a faulty seal and causing food spoilage. This means that for applications where installation space is limited and metal is the only likely contaminant, a metal detector may be the best option. To overcome such issues, manufacturers have traditionally installed a range of inspection equipment on their production lines, including checkweighers, metal detectors, and vision systems. If any images that appear on the website are in Violation of Copyright Law or if you own copyrights over any of them and do not agree with it being shown here, please also contact us and We will remove the offending information as soon as possible..

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