Campden BRI seeks partners for inspection technology research
Technologist and baker inspect the bread production line at the bakery

Campden BRI is looking for partners to help with new research aiming to improve the range of foreign bodies that can be detected in food. The researcher designed practical trials to evaluate the potential of new technologies for detecting a range of foreign bodies in various foods.

Campden BRI’s Future Technology and Insights Lead Danny Bayliss, who is jointly leading the project, pointed out the limitations of current detection technologies across the industry, including metal detectors, X-ray detection and optical sorting: “These technologies are not capable of detecting all foreign body materials that manufacturers are challenged with:  metal detectors only detect metal and have low sensitivity to some types; X-ray is only sensitive to dense materials such as metal, glass and calcified bones and these can be obscured by structures within the product; and optical technologies are only suitable for surface objects or materials that can be spread in a thin layer.  The food industry lacks technologies that can reliably detect materials like soft plastics, wood, uncalcified bones, fruit stones, nutshells and insects. Campden BRI is aware of innovative technologies and methods, at various stages of development, that could improve the detection of foreign bodies in food, including materials that are currently difficult to detect.”

The research team are looking for interested food manufacturers to work with them on this project, to evaluate technologies and support the development of their practical application in the food industry.

Club project lead and Strategic Knowledge Development Scientist at Campden BRI, Greg Jones expanded on the benefits of the project: “Foreign bodies have always been a challenge for food manufacturers to eliminate from their products and are a quality and food safety concern.  Manufacturers have robust HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plans in place to minimize the risk of foreign bodies in their products, with detection systems often acting as the ‘last line of defence’. With the limitations of current detection systems, this club provides the opportunity for members to see the potential of new detection technologies that could improve food safety and quality, reduce complaints, improve due diligence and increase customer confidence for their products.”

The research is set to start early next year. Companies wanting to take part in the project can contact Greg Jones (greg.jones@campdenbri.co.uk).

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