Discover hidden profit in your rejected product flow

Did you know that every time your metal detector rejects a contaminant, good product is eliminated as well? How much product goes into the trash depends on your equipment. Certainly, some rejected product is an essential cost of protecting your brand and customers. But the right equipment can significantly minimize the amount of rejected product and thereby reduce the daily costs of keeping your food supply safe.

What do you need to know as you consider metal detection equipment?

THE MISCONCEPTIONS

A magnet will catch all types of metal. True or false?

With food quality becoming a higher priority among consumers and government regulators, the presence of food contaminants can destroy trust in a brand. News of contamination spreads faster today than ever before. You may think you are protecting your food by using a magnet, but magnets have limitations. A magnet can catch ferrous steel, but it will not find stainless steel  or other metal items commonly detected in food, such as a piece of aluminum can, foil from a bottle wrapper, or brass or gold wedding rings. A metal detector can catch all metal. (The correct answer above is false.)

Let’s consider the example of a grain mill that uses a magnet, but not a metal detector. The magnet can catch a piece of metal that breaks off of the ferrous mill and falls into the product. What the magnet won’t catch is a stainless-steel sliver that falls into the product from a conveyor chain.

All metal detectors have the same capabilities. True or false?

The concept of how metal detectors work has not changed significantly in the past 25 years. But that is not the whole story. Significant changes with periphery electronics and technology now allow metal detection equipment to function more efficiently. The electronics improve deciphering of information and the analytics improve the equipment’s decision-making capability. Therefore, some brands and models of metal detectors run more efficiently than others, reducing your daily costs of keeping your brand and customers safe. (The correct answer above is false.)

One area where metal detection technology has advanced is “gate open time.” When metal is detected, a gate opens and the piece of metal is expelled — along with a certain amount of perfectly good product. The gate remains open for a defined period of time, normally seconds, but this is where the new technology can help. Reducing the gate open time will minimize the amount of rejected product.

What if you could reduce the gate open time from seconds to milliseconds?

CONTROLLING THE OPEN GATE TIME

A powerful pneumatic drive is a new technology being used to control the open time of the reject gate. In addition, positive speed control assures the gate activates at a precise time and only stays open for milliseconds instead of seconds.

In the chart below, you can see how having the shorter open time minimizes the amount of product lost. As an example, the highlighted  boxes  show the amount of product rejected (pounds) when the product flow rate is 50,000 pounds per hour. If the reject gate opens for 1 second, you lose over 19 pounds of product every time metal is detected. If the reject gate opens for 3 seconds, you lose over 57 pounds of good product. At a flow rate of 50,000 pounds per hour, you can save 38 pounds of good product from being rejected by reducing the gate open time from 3 seconds to 1 second. As the gate opens many times over the course of a day, you can imagine how the amount of saved product adds up.

AMOUNT OF REJECTED GOOD PRODUCT PER METAL DETECTION EVENT
FLOW RATE (pounds/hour)GATE OPEN TIME (seconds)
 .51.03.05.0
5,0000.71.44.26.9
50,0009.719.257.996.4
100,000267.9535.81,607.52,679.2

How can you determine the value of minimizing the open gate time for your product?

With a few key pieces of information, you can compare the value of “open gate” time differences for various equipment brands and models. You will want to know your product flow rate (pounds per hour), the number of seconds the gate remains open, profit per pound of the product, average number of metal detection occurrences per day, number of operating days per year, and expected lifetime of the equipment.

ADVANCED PRODUCT LEARNING REDUCES FALSE REJECTS

Advanced technology can also minimize waste of good product by reducing your false rejects. This occurs by way of improved product learning.

Why is it important for the detector to  learn  your product? Each product has its own product effect, meaning unique properties that can cause the detector to signal the presence of metal when  in fact none is present. Moisture, temperature, and chemical makeup are a few examples of properties that can alter the metal detector’s recognition of your product. If the detector does not recognize normal variances in your product, too much good material can be rejected. This is also known as a “false trip.” With every false trip, good product is lost.

All detectors have some degree of product learning. But this is another area where technology has advanced, and product learning will vary among equipment. If you have a product that gives false

readings of metal — meat products such as poultry or beef or product with a high salt or moisture content — it can be wise to invest in equipment with advanced technology for learning.

THE BEST METAL DETECTION SOLUTION FOR YOU

The best metal detector solution for you will vary based on a number of  factors.  The  decision  will be different for each situation and will depend on factors such as: product composition, environmental factors, targeted contaminants, flow rate, the amount of space you have (tight space is a common issue) and more.

As you consider the cost of metal detection, the equipment itself is a one-time fixed cost. The amount of good rejected product is an ongoing variable cost you will want to minimize since it will impact your profitability for the lifetime of the equipment.

In the metal detection industry it is very common  for customers to request a site visit from a metal detection supplier to assess the whole picture of your production environment. After that, the supplier can provide a demonstration of the right type of metal detector — whether that is a flow-through gravity style, pneumatic, or tunnel style mounted on a conveyor, to keep your brand and your customers safe, at the lowest cost to you. ●

Rod Henricks is the Director of U.S. Sales for Bunting Magnetics Co.

EFFICACY OF PHOTO CATALYTIC OXIDATION CELL AND OZONE AT REDUCING MICROBIAL POPULATIONS ON STAINLESS STEEL SURFACES

Executive Summary
Kansas State University Testing
Biological Reduction through Photocatalysis and Ozone

Summary:
Testing has been performed at the Kansas State Food Science Institute in the Department of Animal Sciences & Industry, Kansas State University in Manhattan
Kansas under the direction of Dr. James Marsden, Regent’s Distinguished Professor of Meat Science. Kansas State is of America’s foremost Universities for animal science and Dr. Marsden is known around the world as one of the top researchers and experts in food safety. Ten of the most deadly forms of mold, fungi, bacteria and virus were subjected to a new and innovative Photocatalytic Reactor. These nine organisms were placed on a piece of stainless steel inside a test chamber and the PCO cell was turned on for 24 hours. Test results showed a 24-hour reduction ranging from 96.4% to 99.9%. This testing validates the effectiveness and speed which this PCO cell is able to treat the indoor environment using a natural process at safe levels of oxidation.


Discussion:
With most indoor airborne contaminants originating on surfaces, any efforts to control biological contamination in the indoor environment must address surfaces.
Microorganisms such as Mold, Bacteria and Viruses thrive on surfaces in the presence of moisture, and for this reason the food industry has focused on controlling and eliminating pathogens in food contact areas. Dr. Marsden has dedicated his life to improving food safety through understanding and controlling the spread of biological contamination. Marsden’s research has recently focused on the use of advanced Photocatalysis, a technology which develops oxidizers which actively reduce airborne and surface pathogens. Nine microorganisms were chosen for analysis. Three samples of each microorganism were prepared and placed on a stainless steel surface, allowing analysis at 2 hours, 6 hours and 24 hours of exposure. The test organisms included:


• Staph (Staphylococcus aureus)

• MRSA (Methycillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

• E-Coli (Escherichia coli) 

• Anthrax family (Bacillus spp.)

• Strep (Streptococcus spp.)

• Pseudomonas aureuginosa

• Listeria monocytogenes

• Candida albicans

• Black Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum)


These organisms were subjected to air which was circulating through a proprietary photo catalytic reactor. Multiple parameters were monitored including temperature and humidity. The UV Lamp in the photo catalytic cell was positioned in the supply duct to insure there was no effect from the UVGI produced by the lamp. Understanding that Ozone is one of the oxidizers produced in this Photocatalytic process and the health concerns from exposure to excessive levels of ozone, the ozone level was monitored and never exceeded 20 parts per billion, well below EPA maximum level for continuous exposure. In addition to the test chamber treated with PCO and the corona discharge ozone generator, a control chamber was set up to account for natural decay of the test organisms. Because some biological pathogens die-off on their own when exposed to air, any reputable study must account for such reductions. The test results shown in the report are the reductions in viable organisms with respect to the control sample. The test results were astounding. After 24 hours of exposure the nine organism’s viability was reduced between 96.4% and 99.9%. It should be noted that the double blind study accounted for natural decay. What was even more surprising to the researchers was how fast PCO reduced the pathogens. At the 2-hour sample the average reduction was well over 80%. At the 6-hour sample the average reduction was well over 90%. An additional test was performed using a corona discharge ozone generator (Breeze AT) against Candida albicans (yeast) and Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) at 50 parts per billion (the level deemed safe by the US EPA, OSHA and other international health & safety organizations). This test showed the ability of safe levels of ozone to reduce microbial contamination. It should be noted that although results showed the effectiveness of this safe level of ozone, it also showed that ozone alone is not as effective as the multiple oxidizers produced by the advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation device. One of the multiple oxidizers the PCO cell produces is ozone but at an ozone level two to five times lower than using ozone alone. This test report has been peer reviewed and was published in the Journal of Rapid Methods & Automation in Microbiology 15 (2007) 359–368. 

For the full report please visit https://canadiancpg.com/commercial_products/ and click on KSU Study on PCO Technology

Executive Summary
Kansas State University Testing
Biological Reduction through Photocatalysis and Ozone

Summary:
Testing has been performed at the Kansas State Food Science Institute in the Department of Animal Sciences & Industry, Kansas State University in Manhattan
Kansas under the direction of Dr. James Marsden, Regent’s Distinguished Professor of Meat Science. Kansas State is of America’s foremost Universities for animal science and Dr. Marsden is known around the world as one of the top researchers and experts in food safety. Ten of the most deadly forms of mold, fungi, bacteria and virus were subjected to a new and innovative Photocatalytic Reactor. These nine organisms were placed on a piece of stainless steel inside a test chamber and the PCO cell was turned on for 24 hours. Test results showed a 24-hour reduction ranging from 96.4% to 99.9%. This testing validates the effectiveness and speed which this PCO cell is able to treat the indoor environment using a natural process at safe levels of oxidation.

Discussion:
With most indoor airborne contaminants originating on surfaces, any efforts to control biological contamination in the indoor environment must address surfaces.
Microorganisms such as Mold, Bacteria and Viruses thrive on surfaces in the presence of moisture, and for this reason the food industry has focused on controlling and eliminating pathogens in food contact areas. Dr. Marsden has dedicated his life to improving food safety through understanding and controlling the spread of biological contamination. Marsden’s research has recently focused on the use of advanced Photocatalysis, a technology which develops oxidizers which actively reduce airborne and surface pathogens. Nine microorganisms were chosen for analysis. Three samples of each microorganism were prepared and placed on a stainless steel surface, allowing analysis at 2 hours, 6 hours and 24 hours of exposure. The test organisms included:

• Staph (Staphylococcus aureus)

• MRSA (Methycillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

• E-Coli (Escherichia coli)

• Anthrax family (Bacillus spp.)

• Strep (Streptococcus spp.)

• Pseudomonas aureuginosa

• Listeria monocytogenes

• Candida albicans

• Black Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum)

These organisms were subjected to air which was circulating through a proprietary photo catalytic reactor. Multiple parameters were monitored including temperature and humidity. The UV Lamp in the photo catalytic cell was positioned in the supply duct to insure there was no effect from the UVGI produced by the lamp. Understanding that Ozone is one of the oxidizers produced in this Photocatalytic process and the health concerns from exposure to excessive levels of ozone, the ozone level was monitored and never exceeded 20 parts per billion, well below EPA maximum level for continuous exposure. In addition to the test chamber treated with PCO and the corona discharge ozone generator, a control chamber was set up to account for natural decay of the test organisms. Because some biological pathogens die-off on their own when exposed to air, any reputable study must account for such reductions. The test results shown in the report are the reductions in viable organisms with respect to the control sample. The test results were astounding. After 24 hours of exposure the nine organism’s viability was reduced between 96.4% and 99.9%. It should be noted that the double blind study accounted for natural decay. What was even more surprising to the researchers was how fast PCO reduced the pathogens. At the 2-hour sample the average reduction was well over 80%. At the 6-hour sample the average reduction was well over 90%. An additional test was performed using a corona discharge ozone generator (Breeze AT) against Candida albicans (yeast) and Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) at 50 parts per billion (the level deemed safe by the US EPA, OSHA and other international health & safety organizations). This test showed the ability of safe levels of ozone to reduce microbial contamination. It should be noted that although results showed the effectiveness of this safe level of ozone, it also showed that ozone alone is not as effective as the multiple oxidizers produced by the advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation device. One of the multiple oxidizers the PCO cell produces is ozone but at an ozone level two to five times lower than using ozone alone. This test report has been peer reviewed and was published in the Journal of Rapid Methods & Automation in Microbiology 15 (2007) 359–368.

For the full report please visit https://canadiancpg.com/commercial_products/ and click on KSU Study on PCO Technology

Bunting’s Meatline™ is meeting new challenges in metal detection

As humans, there are a few things all of us have in common. We all need to sleep, we all need to breathe, and we all need to eat and drink in order to survive. While we have come a long way from the days of our ancestors spearing wild animals and roasting them over the fire, we have a similar concern to those ancestors today. A caveman from thousands of years ago wouldn’t want metal contamination in his food, and while his may have come from a fragment of stone rather than metal as we know it today, the sentiment is the same. If a stray scrap of metal finds its way into our food, we are put at risk for bodily harm and we lose our trust in the company we purchased that food from. Fortunately, technology has come a long way since the Stone Age, and Bunting has designed some particularly innovative metal detection products to keep contaminants out of our food.

Like cavemen, humans today love meat. Meat, however, is one of the products most frequently at risk for metal contamination. Because animals must be slaughtered as part of the production process, they frequently arrive at manufacturing plants already bearing contamination. Other processes involved with handling meat, such as machinery used to grind, mash, and cut, can lead to contamination as well. For example, metal bolts come loose from machinery; metal-to-metal contact in devices such as can openers creates metal shards, and smaller metal parts simply break loose off of equipment such as wire mesh belts.

Don’t Let Yourself Fall Victim to Recalls: Protect Yourself with Advanced Metal Detection

In March 2019, Tyson Foods had to recall 69,000 pounds of frozen chicken strips (read story here) due to two separate customers reporting contamination in chicken they had purchased. Just a few days ago, on October 11, Ruck’s Meat Processing of Belle Plaine, Minnesota pulled a huge batch of cured smoked beef after a customer complained about finding a fragment of metal in a piece of the beef (read story here). This contamination put consumers at risk of laceration to their mouths or throats, damage to their dental work, or even intestinal perforation. When meat contamination frequently presents itself in some of the most popular foods for children, such as chicken nuggets and hot dogs, we fear not just for ourselves, but for our families.

Bunting's Meatline metal detector
Bunting’s MeatLINE Metal Detector

To combat the problem of metal contamination in meat products, Bunting has developed a product specifically for detecting and removing metal in meat. Bunting’s meatLINE™ metal detector allows for detection and removal of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from meat products, particularly ground meat. The unique reject mechanism of the meatLINE™ allows it to remove metal contaminant without sacrificing the integrity of the ground meat. As meat moves through a pressurized conveying line, contaminant particles are detected and removed while keeping the meat’s intended shape. Beyond meat, the meatLINE™ metal detection is excellent at examining any kind of liquid or paste type food product, such as jams, jellies, soups, and sauces.

Stainless steel is the most commonly used metal in meat processing, but it is known for being notoriously difficult to detect. The meatLINE™ can detect and separate any type of metal, whether it is encapsulated or free. It fits all commercial vacuum fillers, is pressure washer safe, and has a stable frame with lockable casters. Its reject mechanism can be taken apart in just a few simple steps without the need for tools. Reassembling is just as simple and quick as disassembly. Operation of the meatLINE is easy and fast thanks to a touch screen display that features a self-explanatory menu structure.

The meatLINE™ metal detector is a product you can depend on. All of its components are constructed from stainless steel or durable, food-safe plastic. It has a responsive, powerful, and permanently maintenance-free pneumatic drive that provides it with a long lifespan. In addition to these features, the meatLINE™ is also pressure washer safe.

For excellence in metal detection, trust BUNTING.