Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection has recently launched an X-ray inspection technology capable of detecting low-density contaminants in packaged food products. The new technology is expected to help food manufacturers avoid product recalls, reduce product waste costs, improve product integrity and protect brand reputations.

Mettler-Toledo’s new DXD and DXD+ dual energy detector technology identifies foreign bodies like calcified bone, low-mineral glass, rubber and some plastics — contaminants that are typically hard to detect from ‘cluttered’ or ‘noisy’ X-ray images that are created by overlapping and multi-textured products such as packs of pasta, chicken breasts, sausages and frozen potato-based goods.

Source: Mettler-ToledoSource: Mettler-Toledo

The DXD and DXD+ detector technology separates and removes the food products within an X-ray image, revealing the presence of any lower-density contaminants. As a result of the accuracy and reliability of DXD and DXD+ detection, food manufacturers can ensure the safety for consumers, according to Mettler-Toledo.

The new detector technology is available in two versions, with different levels of dual energy X-ray performance:

  • DXD offers high-quality X-ray performance at an affordable price, can operate in the same environments as single-energy solutions, and can be used with line speeds up to 100 m per minute
  • DXD+ provides reliable detector technology for the most challenging applications, collects more data about the products being inspected, features improved image analysis software with clearer images at higher resolutions, and can be used with line speeds up to 45 m per minute.

Mettler-Toledo has demonstrated the reliable performance of its new technology through tests in which a range of different foreign bodies were hidden in 650 g packages of chicken breasts. The company discovered:

  • Aluminum and low-mineral glass contaminants as small as 2 mm could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, in comparison to 3 mm with a single-energy X-ray
  • Rubber contaminants as small as 5 mm could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, in comparison to 6 mm with a single-energy X-ray
  • 100% of wishbone contaminants could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, but were undetectable using a single-energy X-ray
  • 95% of rib bone contaminants could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, but were undetectable using a single-energy X-ray
  • 30% fan bone contaminants could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, but were undetectable using a single-energy X-ray.

Mettler-Toledo also tested its DXD and DXD+ technology for the ability to detect aluminum, low-mineral glass and rubber in 500 g packages of pasta. The results are as follows:

  • Aluminum contaminants as small as 2 mm could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, in comparison to 5 mm with a single-energy X-ray
  • Low-mineral glass contaminants as small as 3 mm could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, in comparison to 5 mm with a single-energy X-ray
  • Rubber contaminants as small as 6 mm could be detected with 100% probability using DXD or DXD+, in comparison to 6 mm with a single-energy X-ray.
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