PROCESSING AND PACKAGING 44 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA APRIL / MAY 2019 C onformity of packaged food takes many guises. The fundamental requirement is that food is free from unwanted contaminants and is of high quality, and that the label is accurate and correctly positioned. The product also needs to be within the correct weight tolerance and must comply with national and international food safety standards, regulations or legislation. The potential severity of non-conformity is huge, especially if it is due to foreign body contamination. For an individual, it may have long-lasting health implications or even prove fatal. For the businesses concerned, it may result in a product recall, financial penalty, criminal prosecution or even closure. Conformity goes much deeper than food safety compliance. On reaching the consumer, both product and package must be perfectly presentedwith no defects andmust accurately reflect brand expectations. Advanced product inspection technology, such as modern x-ray and vision inspection systems, can perform multiple integrity checks simultaneously to prove product conformity. Initial Risk Analysis and Inspection Tools A Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) evaluation will identify the potential types of contaminants that could affect product conformity and will determine how and where a contaminant is likely to enter the process. Metal detection technology provides the best means of detecting ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless-steel metal contaminants. Until recently, it was not possible to detect small unwanted metal items using a metal detector when products were packaged in metallised film. However, the latest metal detection systems use multi-simultaneous frequency and product signal suppression technology to deliver high sensitivity in these types of applications. X-ray inspection systems can inspect all packaging types for unwanted physical contaminants – such as calcified bone, glass shards, metal fragments, mineral stone, dense plastic and rubber compounds – irrespective of their shape or location within the product, at fast production speeds. As x-ray technology examines the overall product, several additional inspection checks can be performed simultaneously to ensure food safety and product conformity. Product and Packaging Integrity X-ray inspection technology has the capability to inspect for missing items within the primary or secondary package. In the primary package, this can include counting sausages Combination x-ray and vision systems can simultaneously check for dents or damage to the package, and that all relevant information regarding ingredients is correctly displayed. Ensuring Conformity of Packaged Food Food retailers are demanding the highest levels of packaged food conformity to meet customer expectations. Advanced product inspection technologies can help to ensure consistency and repeatability at all times. Ms. Daniela Verhaeg, Product Inspection Specialist, Mettler Toledo, examines the options. Product inspection technology helps ensure conformity and food safety compliance and protects bottom line profits through reducing product giveaway and avoiding spoilage during transportation.