In the food processing industry’s quest to reduce foreign object contamination, metal detectable products have become a critical tool in helping achieve that success. Paul Gaertner, president of Detectapro Products, has been helping food processors work toward zero percent foreign object contamination for more than 15 years.

1. What is the history leading up to metal detectable systems and metal detectable products?

Foreign object detection was put in place to help control recalls as well as the threat of lawsuits from end users. Fallout from foreign objects discovered in the final product can be very expensive. A single recall can cost thousands of dollars, result in bad press, affect contracts with large retail operators, and invite lawsuits against both the processor and the retail entity selling the product.

2. What is Detectapro and how can Detectapro help my food processing company?

Detectapro is a supplier of metal detectable products used by companies in support of quality control efforts. Reasons for implementing metal detectable products range from companies following HACCP to the implementation of other quality assurance programs. Our products are designed for use in conjunction with processors using metal detection systems in an effort to inspect for foreign object contamination.

3. How detectable are Detectapro products?

Detectapro products are 100% detectable and 100% rejectable. The key to using metal detectable products is calibration. Every processing facility must calibrate its detectors to the food it is processing and then set them to a threshold. The threshold is determined by the company in regards to the size of contaminant it wants to reject. Other factors include the type of food, speed of line, and distance of the product passing under the detector.

4. Can Detectapro create new products to fit our needs?

Detectapro offers a wide range of in-stock metal detectable products. However, when custom applications are needed, we rise to the challenge. A great example is our custom-imprinted metal detectable Key Hole Tags. Originally available in one size, we worked, through the distributor, with the end user to create various sizes (up to 3 x 12) with custom four-color printing on both sides.

5. Looking into the crystal ball, what does the future hold for metal detectable products?

The future is very bright indeed. At last year’s Process Expo, we met with small processors looking for guidance on how to get started using metal detection systems. Detection systems are necessary if they are to secure larger contracts in order to grow their businesses. We also met large national processors interested in what’s new and how we can work with them to continually improve their quality programs. The future is very bright indeed.