QMT Features: March 2014
Metal detectors check ready meals
Jardox invested to meet the stringent demands of Marks & Spencer

To allow it to meet the stringent requirements of retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Kent-based savoury ingredients manufacturer Jardox has invested in four Loma IQ3 metal detectors and two CW3 checkweighers in the last three years.

David Mabb, Operations Director at Jardox, said: “The M&S code of practice for metal detectors and checkweighers is the gold standard in the food industry. By investing in inspection equipment that is built to that standard, we can be confident that it will satisfy the requirements of any retailer or manufacturer wanting us to supply them,”

Tony Bryant, UK Sales Manager with Loma, explains that its IQ3 metal detector is engineered to meet these standards, “Our IQ3 incorporates a number of failsafe components which ensure that in the event of a machine fault or a problem with products being fed incorrectly, the line is stopped and the operator alerted, so there is no risk of contaminated product finding its way to consumers.”

Jardox’s core business is supplying savoury ingredients in bulk to food manufacturers. The ingredients, which include curry pastes, concentrated stocks, gravies, marinades, glazes, seasonings and herbs & spices, are made to bespoke recipes and supplied in whatever size and format the customer requires. “We have upwards of 350 customers on our books and recipes are bespoke to each customer,” explains Mr Mabb.

For these ingredients, rare earth magnets are Jardox’s first line of defence. After sieving, dry ingredients are passed over the magnets, which will attract any metallic fines that may have entered the production flow from earlier milling or grinding processes.

Smaller packs of up to 2.5kg are subsequently passed through Loma IQ3 metal detectors. These detectors guard against metallic contamination from upstream equipment in the rare event of nuts, bolts and washers working loose or equipment getting damaged.

The variable frequency operation of the IQ3 allows it to cope with this diverse range of products. It can operate at any frequency between 40kHz and 900kHz and has the ability to select the optimum frequency in seconds. Lower frequencies are used for pastes and stocks and a higher frequency for dry seasoning blends.
Most recently, following the introduction of new ingredients including gel stock pots and flavour shots, Loma specified a ‘combination’ unit, consisting of a conveyorised IQ3 metal detector and CW3 checkweigher. 112g trays with four 28g compartments are filled, lidded, gas flushed and coded, then passed through the integrated system at speeds of about 75 trays per minute before being sleeved or put into a glued skillet.

A second combination unit was installed on a line producing seasoning packs destined for butchers. The packs, which vary in size between 2.27g and 1.36kg, are formed, filled and sealed on a vertical bagmaker before being inspected at speeds of approximately 40 per minute.

 “The checkweighers are accurate to within a point of a gram and are vital for minimising product giveaway. They are connected to our main server, making it very easy to extract and recall production data on a daily basis for reporting programmes,” says Mr Mabb.

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