As demand for ready meals grows, so does the need to detect contaminants in products bound for human consumption. Eagle Product Inspection (eaglepi.com) offers advanced x-ray equipment that provides detection of foreign bodies—such as glass shards, metal fragments, mineral stone, calcified bone, and some rubber and plastic compounds—that can wind up in sub-compartments in ready meals, whether those meals are refrigerated, shelf stable or frozen.
“The rise of meal kits and the ongoing demand for convenient, ready-to-eat or ready-to-prepare foods has made it easier for consumers, but in some ways, has made it more challenging for manufacturers,” said Johselyn Casillas, applications engineer for Eagle Product Inspection. “Multiple ingredients within the meal and in different compartments requires another level of detection to prevent foreign bodies from causing food safety and integrity problems.” Moreover, many ready meals include different materials, including trays, films, small pouches, metal seals and outer packaging.
Eagle's Pack 320 PRO machine enables enhanced contaminant detection and package inspection in high-speed flow-wrap lines and in small to mid-sized packaged products. Eagle also recently introduced the EPX100, an x-ray inspection system that enhances food safety and product quality in cartons, pouches, plastic containers and items wrapped in foil or metallized films.
In addition to finding contaminants within multi-compartment meals, Eagle’s Pack 320 PRO, EPX100 and other advanced inspection systems help ensure product integrity, from attractive product presentation to accurate product measurements and weights that are pivotal in ready meal production. Eagle’s machines can determine fill level, mass measurement, component count and seal inspection for trapped food debris in the entire ready meal or in individual compartments within the ready meal package.