Dairy Processing - November/December 2022 - 51

FOOD SAFETY
CATCHING
contaminants
X-ray and metal detection technology continue to keep dairy products safe.
by Benton Smith | bsmith@sosland.com
L
ong before inspection solutions became the focus of his
career as the vice president of operations for Arlington,
Texas-based FlexXray, Kyle Luker already knew plenty
about dairy food safety.
Luker grew up on a dairy farm in Comanche County,
Texas, that sold fluid milk to a dairy cooperative. After
studying food science at Texas A&M University, he spent 10 of
the first 12 years of his professional life making dairy products
- cheese for seven years and yogurt for three more - between
his time at Schreiber Foods and Dannon.
Now that detecting foreign materials and metals is his area
of expertise, Luker considers himself particularly well versed
in effective ways to locate contaminants in dairy products.
He said the challenges dairy processors encounter when
keeping foreign materials out of their products usually involve
metal and rarely come up in fluid products.
" The filtration mechanisms that go on essentially are going
to stop almost every foreign material incident that you're
50 NOV-DEC 2022 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
going to get, " Luker said of prevention measures used while
processing dairy fluids.
X-ray technology is a solution for locating metals in
facilities that produce non-fluid dairy products. But Luker
explained metal isn't the only source of contamination
processors run into.
" They've got a lot of plastic sources - scrapers, paddles,
extruder parts, O-rings, gaskets - that can also become
foreign material, " he said. " And unfortunately, there isn't an
inline detection system that's capable currently of detecting
any of those foreign materials at production speeds. So right
now, they're just using an X-ray as the best version of a metal
detector that they can find. "
FlexXray's food inspection services are utilized commonly
with dairy products, Luker shared, to find foreign material or
inspect product due to missing internal verification from a metal
detector or X-ray breaking down. Even though all plants have
inline detection, it's often difficult to use for offline inspection,
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Dairy Processing - November/December 2022

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