How do Food Metal Detectors work?

Metal detectors. Not just great for revealing hidden treasures on the beach but a staple in food manufacturing and packaging too.

In this ultra-connected, product-saturated world that we live, your business’ reputation is everything. And, even though metal isn’t the most commonly encountered foreign object in food production, a food metal detector could make all the difference.

Food metal detectors detect and eliminate metal contaminants in food goods – preventing spoilage and providing consumers with the peace of mind that products are of the highest quality and safe to eat.

How do they work?

Despite there being various metal detectors for food on the market, including balanced coil systems and ferrous-in-foil systems, they are all designed in the same way.

They have three coils: one in the centre that is connected to a high-frequency radio transmitter, and a transmission-receiving coil at either side. As a result of these outer coils being identical, and equal-distance from the centre, they receive the same signal and produce a balanced output voltage.

When a particle of metal passes through the aperture, along the conveyor belt, the high-frequency field is disturbed under one coil, changing the voltage.

The output changes from zero and produces a signal to alert the system to the presence of metal. Depending on the system, a rejection mechanism will be activated and, contaminated products will be cut-off from the rest of the production line.

Rejected items can then be further investigated by a trained member of staff, within one hour of the initial rejection – identifying the contaminants and passing them through the food metal detector once more.

Why should you invest in a food metal detector?

It’s difficult to know whether foods are contaminated without looking at them, opening them up or cutting into them. But that’s why you need a metal detector that can scan raw materials, critical control points in the production line and for a final check before packaging.

Food metal detectors can spot the tiniest fragment of iron, copper, stainless steel, silver or gold which isn’t visible to the human eye. Essentially, they are your extra pair of eyes when preparing, manufacturing and packaging products – ensuring your customers don’t get more than they bargained for (e.g. shiny metal surprises!).

However, contaminated goods don’t just affect consumers. In fact, one safety recall could tarnish the reputation that you’ve worked incredibly hard to establish over the years. Can you afford to take the risk?

As such, metal detection is considered an effective – and relatively inexpensive – method of protecting your customers and your brand. And metal detectors for food can save manufacturers from expensive product recalls and compensation claims.

For more information about these fantastic systems and how they work, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at SSME. Either call 0121 661 6346, email or fill in the online enquiry form, and we’ll get back to you.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to add a metal detector to your packaging line, be sure to take a look at our food metal detectors today. We provide purpose-built and conveyorised metal detectors that are manufactured from stainless steel, so are easy to clean and guaranteed to last for many years to come.

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