FOOD SAFETY. Magnetic filter or metal detector?


To guarantee food safety due to metal contamination, in addition to protecting machinery within the production process, there are two options for metal extraction regardless of its size and nature: metal detectors or magnetic filters. To choose one or the other in new installations or improvements to those already underway, we give you some guidelines that will help you choose the optimal system to achieve the desired decontamination objective, as well as profitability of the investment.

Magnetic filter or metal detector in the food industry

When choosing a magnetic filter or a metal detector, it is necessary to know a series of parameters about the nature of the food products to be decontaminated, the type of metal contaminant, the production environment, regulations and specific industry requirements. . Let’s see:

Type of metallic contamination. Depending on the type of contamination, we will determine the required sensitivity. It is necessary to know whether the metal that may appear is ferrous, non-ferrous, or both, as well as the smallest size of metal that may appear. In case of risk of non-ferrous metals, we must install at least one detector, and depending on the production process, we can decide whether to use a detector with manual extraction or automatic extraction to avoid stopping the process.

Characteristics of the product to be decontaminated. The product characteristics that can determine one model or another of magnetic filter or detector are the granulometry, its humidity, temperature and physical characteristics, that is, whether it is solid, liquid or pasty solid. Obviously, if we need to detect possible metal contamination in packaged products, a detector will also be required, possibly a filter in some previous phase.

Within this section, it will be an important point to know the explosive capacity that said product may have. Indeed, in the case of products such as sugar, flour, grain, etc., it will be necessary to manufacture and certify the detector or filter according to ATEX regulations.

Features of the production process. The way the food or chemical product is produced will also determine whether and which of each of these types can be used as a magnetic detector, filter or separator. Here we will consider whether the product is transported on belt and mechanical means and channel, or through pipeline by pneumatic or other type of propulsion. For the selection of the detector or channel it would be important to know the speed of food transport.

Maintenance and cleaning. The ease of maintenance and cleaning of the filtration or detection system should also be considered. Regular and proper cleaning is essential to ensure system efficiency and reliability. A design that allows for easy disassembly and cleaning will facilitate compliance with hygiene protocols.

Rules and regulations. It is essential to comply with the regulations and legal requirements of the food industry. Regulatory bodies, such as the FDA in the United States or the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), establish specific guidelines for the prevention of metallic contamination in food. It is important to select a magnetic filter or metal detector that meets applicable standards and regulations.


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