Blog : The Thermo Scientific™ Sentinel™ 5000 Multiscan Metal Detector.
How to avoid the horror of metal contaminants in food and beverages.
While food recalls involving E. coli and salmonella get the most media attention, recalls due to the contamination of foreign objects are more common than you’d think.
‘Extraneous metal materials’ can cause massive product recalls and cost millions.
Although production lines are designed to minimise the number of metal-on-metal parts, given how industrialised our food system is, it still happens.
Metal ‘shards’ have caused products recalls for boxes of breakfast cereal and pasta, prepared meat products, ice and in more malicious cases, fresh fruit.
Metal detection is employed by food manufacturers to ensure product safety. However, most metal detectors don’t easily discriminate between metal shards and foil packaging. The metal signal is already high because of the foil, and it makes it hard to detect a small foreign object.
In addition, although Global Food Safety Standards dictate that fragments above 7mm be detected and removed, research shows that customers prefer anything above 2mm removed (or ideally, nothing at all).
This makes sense. It's unpleasant to find any kind of foreign object in your food! And it affects brand choices.
What’s different about it?
It’s the most sensitive metal detector on the market.
The Sentinel 5000 scans the product five times using a true spectrum of frequencies and a new kind of signal processing. It significantly reduces the probability of an escape.
It overcomes the limitation of fixed single or dual frequency metal detectors that can miss metal contaminants hidden in product signals.
You see, metal detectors use electromagnetic fields to find things that are magnetic and conductive.
Apart from foil packaging, most food products are wet, have salt or contain minerals, which when subjected to electromagnetic fields also look magnetic and conductive.
The Sentinel 5000 utilises multiscan technology to scan a combination of up to five user-selectable frequencies, making it a universal solution for multiple applications.
This enables users to identify contaminants that are up to 70% smaller in volume than previous technologies and provides a high probability of finding ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel metal contaminants.
A completely new approach to metal detection
Metal detectors use radio frequency to detect small field differences.
There is no single best frequency to use because you're dealing with the variables of the metal lurking in your food or beverage product. These variables can include magnetic and conductive properties and their size, shape, position and location. Some structures are easy to find and some, not so easy.
Quite often, the variables of the metal are just too similar to the product or its packaging and get missed.
Using single or dual frequencies isn't safe enough.
Noise filtration like never before
Small metal foreign objects have very small signals, and the metal detector is operating in a factory that has many possible noise sources that can confuse the metal detector electronics and software.
For example, at any given time there could be:
Thermo Fisher detectors use a proprietary multicoil design to boost 'receive' signals, so they can filter noise interference and detect foreign objects.
But is it easy to use?
The Sentinel 5000 software has been designed with user-friendly software to allow field set-up and balance in minutes to get processors and manufacturers detecting metals faster, across mixed production lines providing time-saving.
It is suitable for challenging products and applications such as dairy, meat, poultry, bread and other products or packaging with high signal distortion during production and final fill.
Like some advice about metal detection? Drop us a line below and we'll get back to you pronto!