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Recovering your ON-HOLD suspect foreign material production: Laser Sorting vs X-Ray Technologies


April 3, 2023June 7, 2024No comments

In the production of food and produce, processors are exposed to the potential entrainment of foreign materials in their incoming supplies or possibly through their production processes.

Although there are multiple technologies available for inspecting for foreign material contaminants in raw incoming ingredients or finished package foods, advances in both optical / laser sorting and x-ray technologies offer some of the best inspection capability when the concern is over non-metallic (ferrous) contaminants.

When considering optical or laser sorting, the first consideration is the nature / state of the product.  These solutions only work with bulk product and perform surface analysis of unpackaged food stuff eg. bulk nuts, fruits, leafy produce, etc.  With respect to finished products in package can only be inspected by x-ray technology when non-ferrous contaminants are the concern. Also consider that inspecting bulk unpackaged product still poses a risk of re-contamination as this process is achieved before final packaging where additional vector point contamination persist.

Although offering considerable inspection capabilities, modern laser / optical sorters are difficult to use in program deviation events as the product is often packaged when issues are detected.  These solutions are also very expensive and not typically available for temporary / rental use.

In considering x-rays for these applications even where the production is in bulk format, production can be recovered through specially designed ‘bulk handling’ x-ray solutions.  These solutions will often provide for comprehensive contamination detection and reject / sorting as well, inspecting for all types of dense foreign materials such as glass, stones, rubbers, etc.  And given that X-rays are significantly widely in use, temporary / rental use is much more likely probable.


Through our history Plan Automation X-ray Reclaim Services have provided a valuable tool to food processors helping them clear suspect production, divert goods from the landfill and save their companies time and money.

Today now operating from a 15,000 sq.ft. facility in Bolton, ON, Plan x-ray reclaim team bring both on-site and off-site turnkey services to some of Canada’s most well-known food processors.

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