Foil & Composite Packaging Inspection

X-ray inspection and metal detection for food in foil packaging

X-ray of metal contaminant in food packaging

Metal and foil composite packaging such as sachets and foil trays are very popular in the food industry. However certain contaminants can be difficult to identify using conventional metal detection techniques due to the metal incorporated within the packaging’s manufacture.

Accurate detection, even in metal-based packaging

AIS’ specialist x-ray technology can be customised to your particular product, packaging and problem – including metal detection, stainless steel or non-metallic substances in foil-wrapped food.

Our high resolution x-ray sensors offer glass detection down to 1.0mm and metal as small as a 0.4mm wire.

Our inspection techniques are highly accurate for a large range of non-metallic substances such stone, calcified bone and certain rubbers and plastics, with accurate detection as small as 1.2mm.

Powerful detection

Glass, stone, bone and even metal within metal

Frozen food?

No problem! Find out more in our FAQs

We can provide metal detection in all food types – including frozen food – and for all types of foil and composite packaging, sachets, semi-rigid containers or plastic and foil trays.

Our equipment allows very rapid inspection and turn-around to ensure your foil-wrapped or metal-packaged food is safely back on the market as fast as possible.

The machines can simultaneously perform accurate food inspection and identify damaged packaging and common quality issues.

ISO accredited

Certified to operate a Quality Management System

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Achieve compliance

Food safety standards: HACCP, TACCP, GFSI & GMP

We are ISO accredited to help manufacturers and suppliers achieve regulatory compliance including HACCP and TACCP.

Fast and cost-effective inspection

When a product batch needs to be urgently tested, AIS will provide an immediate response and assessment.

Free sample inspection

Free, immediate and confidential evaluation

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Call our Rapid Response Service

01933 674 030

Our experienced team are on hand to assess the suitability of your product and packaging, and manage a potential recall crisis should the need arise.

Ensure quality and compliance

AIS’ foil and composite packaging inspection service is also available for routine quality checks, at a simple per-unit cost.

Book a free and confidential evaluation or request a call back by our experienced team.

Potential recall crisis?

Our service is always fast and reliable

Routine quality checks

Available at a simple per-unit cost

Speak to the team

Foil & Composite Packaging FAQs

What contaminants and defects can AIS detect in foil or metal-based packaging?

Glass, metal and many non-metallic substances can be identified within food packaging using x-ray technology, even if the product is frozen.

We offer simultaneous inspection for common manufacturing and packaging faults.

Typical examples include:

  • Large metal or dense fragments in whole case inspection
  • Small metal, glass, stone, or bone fragment in individual packs
  • Under-fill in cases and individual packs
  • Missing components in multi-component trays
  • Electrical cable covering and other dense plastics and rubber
What size of physical contaminant can AIS detect in foil and composite packaging?

Our highest resolution x-ray scanner (the Micron Scan) can detect a sieve wire of just 0.4mm in a single item or a piece of metal just 1.0mm sphere in a whole case. It can also detect glass fragments down to 1.0mm as well as stone, calcified bone and certain rubbers and plastics.

We offer a free and confidential assessment to guarantee the highest accuracy for your particular problem.

What factors can affect the size of physical contaminant detectable within packaging?

The size that we can identify is influenced by several factors:

  • The thickness and homogeneity of the food or product within the packaging
  • The density and position of the physical contaminant
  • The type, size and shape of the packaging
  • Whether inspecting single items or whole cases

We offer a reasonably immediate appraisal of what can be achieved with your product or particular container. Simply send a sample of your product for inspection, or call us – we can often evaluate the issue on the phone.

What foil and metal-based packaging types can AIS inspect?

Quality checks and detection of metal and other physical contaminants is possible – to varying resolutions – in almost any packaging.

We can inspect most common metal and foil composite packaging types in the food and drink and pharmaceuticals industries:

  • Sachets, usually made from laminated plastic and aluminium
  • Semi-rigid packaging, typically single-use aluminium containers to cook or reheat food
  • Plastic and foil trays, including multi-component trays

Custom metal, foil and composite packaging can also be inspected including non-consumables such as toys and electrical goods.

The type of contamination or quality issue will affect the resolution that our x-ray scanners can achieve. Please request a free and confidential assessment for your particular packaging and problem.

Does AIS have frozen or chilled facilities?

We regularly provide a safe, fast and effective inspection service for frozen and chilled foods, however we do not offer freezers or refrigerated storage on the premises.

We have multiple hook up points and a large secure yard which can accommodate up to 10 refrigerated trailers.

Working directly from the trailers, each pallet is removed it is temperature monitored throughout the inspection process and then immediately returned to the trailer (or a spare trailer which is then replaced on the next load). A full trailer can usually be inspected and turned round in a few hours.

We regularly inspect chilled and frozen food for well-known brands and this has proven to be the most efficient method.

How reliable are the inspection techniques?

AIS has many years’ of experience in providing specialist x-ray inspection services. We are ISO accredited to help you achieve compliance for potential recall incidents, HACCP and TACCP.

Over 95% of our business is repeat business from long term clients, mainly within the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

Reliability can differ due to many factors. We will always give a clear and honest appraisal of what is achievable and be prepared to demonstrate that to you at any time.

Request a Free Sample Inspection for AIS to evaluate your product and problem.

Is there a risk in passing food products through an x-ray system?

X-ray inspection which delivers a dose of less than 0.5 Gy to food products is permitted under EU Directive 1999/2/EC.

The dose received by a product passing through an x-ray system is extremely low, typically for an x-ray linescan system it is less than 0.2 milli-Gy.

For more detailed information please visit this European Food Information Council article, or see: “How safe is X-ray Inspection?

Is the x-ray equipment for hire?

Yes, some of our customisable x-ray inspection systems and metal detectors are available to rent at your premises. These can be hired, subject to availability, on flexible contract periods – usually for an immediate or short term requirement.

Find out more about X-Ray Equipment Hire.

White Papers

How Do X-Ray Systems Find Contaminants?

What are the main components and operating principles of an x-ray inspection system?

This white paper explains how specialist x-ray equipment can be highly efficient to detect typical contaminants at various stages of the production process.

Go to the Mettler-Toledo website

How Safe is X-Ray Inspection of Food?

People are right to be wary of radiation, but that doesn’t mean they should be concerned by the use of x-rays in food inspection.

The use of x-ray inspection equipment is both highly regulated and increasingly common; this white paper assesses the safety of x-ray inspection of food.

Go to the Mettler-Toledo website

Read more about how x-ray inspection does not harm food in our FAQs.