Space-saving X-ray unit ensures reliable inspection of allergy friendly snack products wrapped in metalized film
Enjoy Life Foods, a rapidly growing manufacturer of certified gluten-free, non-GMO and gluten free snacks, was founded in 2001 by Scott Mandell. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Mondelez International®, which acquired the company in 2015. In 2016, Enjoy Life opened North America’s largest allergy-friendly bakery in Jeffersonville, IN. At the state-of-the-art, 200,000 square foot plant, cookies, snack bars, chocolate bars, baking chocolate, seed and fruit mixes, and savory snacks which are all free-from gluten and 14 common allergens are produced. The product is supplied across the USA and Canada, as well as global markets such as South Africa, Israel, Mexico and Singapore.
To Enjoy Life Foods, clean food and consumer satisfaction is of the upmost importance. They take great pride in what goes into their products. When walking around Enjoy Life Food's new facility, you can see how much care they put into protecting their consumers by having separately controlled rooms for various allergens. It makes sense that their inspection equipment needed to have top of the line performance to ensure that nothing was in their product that was not supposed to be in it.
Aaron Jackson, Project Engineer at Enjoy Life Foods comments: “We decided to upgrade our inspection technology when we moved to the new plant and began using more metalized film packaging across some of our product lines.”
“We approached LOMA® due to past experience with their metal detectors and checkweighers, their proven track record in the global food industry inspection market and the fact that they always stand behind their products.”
When Aaron Jackson, Project Engineer at Enjoy Life Foods, was tasked with selecting new inspection equipment for the baking facility, three main needs had to be met: It needed to be reliable at detecting contaminants through metalized film, it needed to take up little space and it needed to be cost effective.
Also, Enjoy Life Food's previous metal detectors were having performance issues and were not providing the level of detection required because of the use of metalized film and high production levels, so X-ray inspection systems were being explored as an alternative solution.
Consequently, Enjoy Life Foods installed four LOMA X5C X-ray systems with rejects at the end of their packaging lines where they are inspecting wrapped solid chocolate bars and snack bars containing seeds, chocolate chips or caramel pieces. Chosen for its reliability, space-saving design and great cost of ownership, the compact LOMA X5C machine inspects a range of allergen-free snack bars wrapped in metalized film for contaminants.
Snack foods often fluctuate in density which can make it difficult to find foreign bodies and creates inspection challenges. However, LOMA’s X5C was able to exceed detection performance expectations at Enjoy Life Foods. In addition, snacks that are packaged in metalized film or have variable product temperature and moisture content will have no effect on the detection sensitivity levels of LOMA’s X5C.
Aaron continues: “LOMA recommended the X5C due to our limited production space, budget restraints and its ability to reliably and accurately inspect snack bars wrapped in metalized film. In terms of cost, the unit compares extremely favorably with other types of inspection equipment.”
LOMA’s X5C model is developed for food manufacturers, processors and packers running multi-product lines who are looking to make the switch to X-ray technology for the first time. It is a compact, yet highly functional system designed to reduce the cost of ownership of X-ray inspection technology by up to 30%. The fully specified X5C offers quality contaminant inspection using well-proven sub components and a streamlined design.
The X5C is ideal for the detection of glass, calcified bone, rubber, stone as well as ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel metal in various packaging, including metalized film. It operates at line speeds up to 50 meters per minute and measures just one meter in length. At Enjoy Life Foods, the X5C's are operating at speeds up to 240 packs per minute, on a continuous 24/7 basis.
“Although the X5C is a streamlined model, it has been optimized to give maximum performance. Offering good value for money, it provides reassurance that our quality control procedures meet customer requirements.”
LOMA’s X5C features an easy to use eight-inch intuitive touch screen and has a high speed USB port with a simple Ethernet connection for easy outputting of reports. In line with CFR21 part 11 traceability, it is multi-level password protected for improved data management, which means the system can log events against individual operators. Produced from brushed stainless steel, it offers an ultra-hygienic design for easy cleaning, low maintenance and serviceability.
“The X5C X-ray machine runs on a 24/7 basis and requires little or no attendance by staff,” adds Aaron. “It is easy to install and simple to operate plus needs little maintenance.
“The overall service from LOMA is excellent and I would happily recommend the company and its products to other food manufacturers,” Aaron concludes.
The Compact X5C X-ray Inspection System
The X5C detects all types of metal (i.e. stainless steel, ferrous and non-ferrous), bone, glass or dense plastics and can be used for basic product integrity tests (i.e. missing items, object checking, fill level).
It is especially good at inspecting products packaged in foil or heavy metallized film packaging and overcoming the problems with Ferrous in Foil metal detectors.