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X-ray solution for meat products

04 December 2023

An X-ray inspection system is providing Hungarian meat brand, Pápai Hús with improved food quality and security across its product range.

Established in 1913, the name Pápai Hús is synonymous with smoked ham to consumers in Hungary. The company produces a range of chilled and frozen meat, smoked and heat-treated meat products, ham, bacon and sausages, cold meats, grilled and also vegan products.

In 2017, when it secured a new deal to supply into Japan, it was agreed that Pápai Hús would invest in an X-ray inspection system at its factory in Pápa, West Hungary. “It wasn’t even, ‘choose an X-ray machine,” explained Benedek Szabolcs, Technical Director at Pápai Hús. “They specifically directed us to order an Ishida X-ray machine!”

X-ray technology works on the principle of producing X-ray wavelengths from a generator tube which traverse through the product to be inspected onto a line sensor, which is able to convert the incident X-rays into a greyscale image that is further processed and displayed on the screen. The darker the area of the image, the higher the density and in this way foreign bodies which are denser than the product can be detected.

“The nature of our products means there can sometimes be small traces of bone or cartilage in the meat, which is unwanted by consumers,” said Benedek. “We realised that the X-ray machine can easily be programmed to identify any packs containing these traces, allowing us to reject them before they leave the factory, helping us to improve our food quality.”

Detecting inpurities
The sensitivity of the Ishida X-ray allows it to detect impurities down to 0.3mm in size, while the place of contamination can also be accurately pinpointed. 

Today, Pápai Hús is using the X-ray machine to check every pack of disznósajt, black pudding and cubed bacon at the Pápa factory. Intuitive pre-set options allow for easy changeovers between product and pack types, which is necessary, given that the likelihood of bone or cartilage present varies according to the product.

Due to the limited space in the factory, the X-ray machine has been set up as a standalone machine – products are fed manually, with accepted packs being conveyed into pallets and rejects dropping into a locked reject bin.

Used daily, the machine is now a critical part of Pápai Hús’ operation. “We are very satisfied with how the Ishida IX-GN-2443 X-ray machine performs,” concluded Benedek.

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