Inspecting Coffee, Beans and All
X-ray inspection machines are capable of finding nearly any foreign contaminant in a product, such as pieces of glass, metal, stone, plastic, or bone. But each product and package inspected has unique attributes, challenges, and likely foreign materials based on the characteristics of its supply chain.
When it comes to coffee, a very common foreign contaminant is stone.
Coffee beans are harvested by hand. Usable beans are separated out typically by putting them in a water bath; then dried on the earth or on tables; and then raked. During this process, stones can be introduced.
There are direct and clear consequences of stones in your coffee product. When trying to protect your customers and your reputation, it’s best to utilize X-ray inspection technology. X-ray technology enables the processor to identify foreign materials in the coffee beans, even if the beans are packaged in metalized foil, metal cans, or glass jars.
Currently, coffee suppliers often inspect their product for sealing, weight, and fill level. But shouldn’t you also know there are no foreign contaminants?
All food processors are committed to delivering the highest quality product. With X-ray inspection, processors and packagers can provide the greatest
assurances that foreign material has been eliminated prior to distribution to their customers.
X-ray images reveal foreign material based on the differences in density between a coffee bean and a stone, even if the stone is similar in color and shape. The images can be taken even in otherwise opaque packages. An X-ray image can also be used to verify the contents.
It shouldn’t take until the consumer is grinding their beans to find a rock.
Inspecting the Packages
To facilitate installation of X-ray inspection and minimize disruption to the product flow, coffee packages should be inspected in the same manner as they are conveyed. In the case of upright bags of roasted coffee beans, the inspection should be made from the side, through the bag. Inspection resolution is optimized and product handling issues are minimized.
Optimizing X-ray Resolution
A feature of Peco InspX’s systems is inspecting through the narrowest dimension. The significance of any foreign material element is increased relative to the product in which it is included. Simply, by reducing the denominator of the fraction while keeping the numerator constant (the foreign material), the significance increases.
This ensures that no contaminant can hide even in the smallest areas of the packaging. Detection is done at the bottom, middle, or top of the container, no matter the size or shape – and even after the container is sealed!
False Reject Rate
The false reject rate is influenced by the repeatability of the inspection process and the solution that you’re seeking to achieve (the probability of detection). X-ray imaging is more repeatable than detection by something like a metal detector. Peco InspX has taken great strides to make the imaging as repetitive as possible.
Our machines have high-resolution detectors that reduce imaging noise. Low imaging noise results in better detection of small pieces of foreign materials and an extremely low false reject rate.
Our machines offer a “Reject Information” option, which tells us how big the contaminant was, or if it exceeded a certain pixel threshold. The most valuable information about a reject comes from the display of the image itself, as this shows both the size and location.
Imagine going through a metal detector at the airport – if the machine detects something, it beeps. Now think of your luggage going through airport security – the X-ray system gives the operator an image, and they can point out the exact spot you left your water bottle.
See for Yourself
Get a complimentary coffee X-ray inspection from us and learn how your coffee becomes free of contaminants.