Contaminant detection challenges tackled by Anritsu

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

XR75 inspection system
XR75 inspection system

Related tags Bacteria

Food companies are facing an increasingly stringent regulatory environment and headline-making product recalls, according to a manufacturer of detection and inspection equipment.

Anritsu will show its XR75 inspection systems during Process Expo in Chicago, September 15-18 – the series was launched in November 2014.

The inspection system can pinpoint product shape defects and check for product integrity. 

Depending on the model, maximum width of a product is 240mm, maximum height 120mm or maximum width 390mm and maximum height 220mm.

Belt speed and maximum product weight can be 10-60 m/min for 5kg, 60-90 m/min for 2kg and 10-40 m/min for maximum 10kg.

Detection capabilities

Erik Brainard, president and CEO, said the system reflects design capabilities on marketplace demand for the most accurate detection.

“The XR75, as well as previous Anritsu X-ray models, will detect contaminants with sizes smaller than 1mm. We typically find 0.8mm metal in most consumer food products.

“The focus of XR75 was to maintain detection capability while reducing X-ray power to increase the critical component (tube & detector) lifetime.

“X-ray typically exceeds our typical user requirements, however, there are certain situations where innovations were required to meet expectations. One such area was poultry bone detection where Anritsu’s DualX technology was developed to enable detection of thin chicken bones. 

“XR75 will encompass all levels of package sizes and the first two models released are for packaged products up to atypical carton sizes. The XR75 series product line is scheduled to be released in stages and will include case inspection, bulk solution, and pipeline systems.”

Operating cost and energy level

The XR75 is a conventional, top down, single beam system which the firm claims offers a good balance of detection, cost and longevity.

Anritsu said it can reduce the lifetime operating cost by over 20% compared to other systems.

Engineers designed the system to provide sensitivity at lower energy levels for extended life cycles and a reduced cost of ownership.

“The lower energy level is in reference to reduced power levels of the tube which was a specific design point of the system. Reducing the tube power increases the lifetime of both the tube and detector and as well lowers the overall power consumption of the system​,” said Brainard.

The machines have IP ratings IP40 and IP66 but the common design allows a reduction on upgrading to IP66 ratings.

When asked about applying the technology to items that have lactic acid bacteria as X-ray radiation causes ionization of such foods, the firm said this is a “different marketplace”.

“There are systems that can kill bacteria using ionizing radiation, however they are several orders of magnitude higher in energy levels,” ​said Brainard. 

The maximum dose of X-ray irradiation to products inspected by the machine is 0.002 Gy or if a product stops inside, less than 0.1 Gy. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said irradiation of any food commodity up to an overall average dose of 10 kGy presents no toxicological hazard and introduces no special nutritional or microbiological problems.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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