A Pastry a Day
LOMA SYSTEMS IQ3 metal detectors help Del’s Pastry beat the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Safe Quality Foods (SQF) standards for food hygiene and safety
Del’s Pastry is well-known as a market leader in the pastry industry. The company produces approximately 35 unique fresh and frozen pastry products; from cookies and turnovers to their award winning muffins. “Our brand in Canada is very strong and we’re working on balancing our expansion into the United States,” states Michael Lerman, Supervisor at Del’s Pastry. Lerman estimates 90 percent of the company’s business comes from leading retailers and food service suppliers in Canada.
The company has established itself so well throughout Canada that expansion into the United States has come at a rapid pace. “We produce approximately 20,000 packages of pastries daily that are shipped across North America,” says Lerman. “You can find our products on the shelves of many of the largest retailers.”
The one thing that has never changed at Del’s Pastry, a family-owned business, is their absolute dedication to producing the finest quality products. Founded in Toronto, Ontario in 1963, the company
has grown from a modest 400 square-foot storefront to a 50,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to add more production, warehouse and distribution capabilities. “We’re big enough to be a major player in the industry, but small enough to be flexible.” That flexibility enables the company to proactively adapt to changing retailer codes of practice as well other external regulations.
“As Del’s Pastry expands into new markets or distributes through new venues, their operations are tasked with conforming to new food hygiene and safety standards,” says Todd Fletcher, Regional Sales Manager for LOMA SYSTEMS. After working with the company for a decade, Fletcher explains that it’s a necessity for them to utilize an inspection technology that suits different requirements and can quickly handle changes.
Lerman notes that he wants a technology that can withstand the test of time and the ever-changing landscape of the food processing industry. That’s why Del’s Pastry had no hesitation in reaching out to LOMA, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of food inspection systems. Lerman comments,“We already had several LOMA metal detectors at our facility and have always been extremely pleased with the technology as well as the service.”
As Fletcher found out, even with his long-standing relationship at Del’s Pastry and their enthusiasm for LOMA’s technology and service, the company’s dedication to producing a quality product remained first priority. Because Del’s Pastry prides itself on being SQF certified, the company wanted to perform due diligence. Lerman explains, “It was imperative to ensure we put the right technology in place for our applications.” So he positioned LOMA against a leading competitor and started rigorous testing.
“We reviewed our workflow for each application and asked “What are we doing?”, “Why are we doing it?”, and “Can it be done better?” Lerman recalls. “Once we completed in-house testing, we felt confident in our decision to continue integrating LOMA into our process.”
Lerman continues, “We wanted flexible systems that could cope with our constantly changing lines, as we inspect approximately 35 unique fresh and frozen pastry products. Metal detectors that are simple to set-up and can minimize downtime were essential to our decision. After testing, the LOMA IQ3 metal detector was the best choice.”
The LOMA IQ3 metal detector has sophisticated electronics including the trademarked automatic product learn system. This system automatically calibrates and learns the characteristics and settings for up to 100 different products. The IQ3 is also heralded in the industry for being the only true variable frequency inspection system, which allows the operator to automatically select the correct frequency for maximum contaminant sensitivity. The ability to change product lines without fuss or loss of performance was a key factor in Lerman’s decision.
Traditional single- or multi-frequency metal detectors require internal adjustments when faced with a product that is materially different from others typically inspection on the production line.
Food hygiene and food safety are key principles to Del’s Pastry and they are constantly reviewing their practices to ensure they stay ahead of trends. The company produces both fresh and frozen products at varying temperatures, which means the metal detection systems need to accommodate harsh wash downs. The LOMA IQ3 is designed for tough environments and meets the IP69K standard. LOMA’s ‘Designed to Survive’ ethos is reflected in every detail of their systems and with 3 lines at Del’s Pastry running 18 hours a day, or 24 hours a day in the summer months, a tough and durable system is critical.
The LOMA IQ3 metal detector is in a class of its own. This next-generation system offers better sensitivity and stability and is more future-proof than any other metal detector currently on the market. Lerman adds, “LOMA’s IQ3 has exceeded our specification for the size of contaminants we are mandated to find from our most stringent retailer.”
“We’ve been able to use the IQ3 technology to track batches back to our suppliers and share our results to help them improve their processes as well. As a result, the quality of raw material we receive has significantly improved,” continues Lerman.
GFSI’s SQF Program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world who require an effective food safety management system.
As part of the SQF audit, all critical points from building design and process flow to the documentation of contaminant detection and removal are reviewed.
While Del’s Pastry recognizes that simply incorporating effective food inspection technology can help with meeting retailer requirements as well as external regulations; they are confident LOMA’s metal detection technology takes them a step further. The LOMA IQ3 metal detectors contribute to meeting the SQF Program’s section 6.9 on the control of physical contaminants.
“The onsite training we received from the LOMA technician at the time of installation proved to be valuable. We learned how to properly operate and maintain the systems so they stay up and running,” says Lerman. He feels confident that Del’s Pastry utilizes their IQ3 metal detection systems to the fullest capacity. “Fully understanding how the systems function is imperative to helping us stay ahead of food safety requirements.”
The new LOMA IQ3 systems have been running for 2 years and Del’s Pastry has yet to place a service call due to technical or functional issues. The company invites LOMA to their facility once a year to perform a SQF mandated calibration on their metal detector fleet.
IQ4 Metal Detector Conveyor Systems
The IQ4 Conveyorized Metal Detector system is designed for packaged and loose products and can be supplied with full retail compliance.