Inspection Systems

Metal detection in food production

It is no secret that consumer protection is crucial in the food industry. However, despite the best efforts, it isn’t uncommon for metal contaminants to end up in products during the food processing or production process. Metal contaminants in food occur for a wide range of reasons, from their introduction at any stage of the food production process to their natural occurrence in food through soil and water. Fortunately, metal detection in food production is a reliable strategy anyone in the industry can rely on to ensure food safety.

What Is Metal Detection In Food Production?

Lead, nickel, arsenic, cadmium, copper, and selenium are common types of metals found in food, contaminating the entire food chain and harming public health. These metals can be introduced at any stage of the food production process. However, you can use metal detectors to ensure the safety and integrity of various packaged, unpackaged, and bulk goods. Metal detection systems food detect metallic contaminants during processing and packaging to ensure that no metals end up in the food we eat.

Why Is Metal Detection In Food Production Important?

  • Companies use metal detection systems primarily for consumer protection. Consumers may be injured by metal particles present in food products, affecting their overall health.
  • Food companies also use these inspection systems to protect their brand’s image. A company that sells contaminated food products is at risk of expensive recalls and hefty compensation claims. These recalls and compensations can lead to loss of consumer trust and a negative brand image, causing longer and more significant reputational damage. Luckily, a food metal detector can help you identify non-ferrous and ferrous metals like stainless steel and aluminium in time, preventing them from destroying your brand’s reputation.
  • Metal detection also protects machinery from failure. This way, food companies can avoid production downtimes, costly repairs, and revenue decreases.

Types Of Metals And Machines

A great detection system can detect metallic particles from three main metal groups:

  • Ferrous
  • Non-Ferrous
  • Stainless Steel

Furthermore, various machines are used to detect metals in food products like fruit, vegetables, fish, dairy, meat, and baked goods. These include:

  • X-ray inspection systems: You can rely on a food X-ray inspection system for sharper detection capabilities when seeking to identify other contaminants like calcified bone, stone, and glass in addition to metal.
  • Checkweigher combination systems: These systems are ideal if you supply various products to big supermarkets.
  • Pipeline for pumped products: Pipelines are ideal for dairy, soup, sauce, and beverage inspection.
  • Conveyor-based systems: These systems are used to inspect cereals, meats, bread, yoghurt, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Gravity free-fall style metal detectors: It is best to invest in this system if you process grains, granules, and powders.

How Metal Detectors Work

Metal detectors work with various detection methods. However, they typically use the transmitter-receiver method in the food industry. These detectors have a transmitter coil that generates a constant electromagnetic field alongside two receiver coils. Any metal particle that passes through the detector will interfere with this field, causing the receiver coils to detect the signal. The metal detector’s electronic unit will analyse this signal to determine whether it is metal contamination. Then, the detector will isolate the product from the production line if it is contaminated.

Why Choose FESS Group For Your Food Metal Detection Needs?

We have developed metal inspection processes and systems for many food manufacturers in the UK and beyond. Also, we have extensive experience assisting a wide range of industries with food metal detection, ranging from dairy to red meat.


If you’re considering using metal detection in your food production, consult with us today on the best equipment to use and how to incorporate them into your production processes.

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