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Article: Fat analysis and X-ray - your questions answerd

X-ray is a proven concept for fat analysis of meat, but is it safe, what exactly can I measure and will it slow down my production? FOSS asked product specialist, Jens Borg to give some direction on some commonly-asked questions about the MeatMaster™ X-ray fat analyser.

The use of X-ray equipment in meat processing plants has become widespread. The main application areas are for detection of foreign objects and for fat analysis. Exposing food to X-rays and placing X-ray equipment on the production floor in a meat plant naturally raises a number of questions, which I will try to address here:        

Can the meat become radioactive? 

No, irradiated food does not become radioactive. Irradiating food is allowed in many countries, but although hundreds of studies have shown no increased health hazard, it is not very widely used due to consumer concern. 

X-ray analysis of food is NOT the same as radiating food. The minimum level of radiation used when radiating food is more than a hundred thousand times higher than the level used in meat plant X-ray equipment. The radiation level of X-ray inspection equipment used in meat plants is comparable to low level medical procedures used on humans and the meat products do not require special labelling after analysis.

Is it safe to have an X-ray machine in a meat plant?

All ionizing radiation is potentially dangerous to humans. Therefore there are very strict rules for the design, construction, installation and test of X-ray apparatus, enforced by the local authorities. X-ray machines in meat plants, provided they are operated according to instructions, are safe to operate and are safe for the operators working in the vicinity of the machine. 
In this respect, the instruments used in meat plants can be compared with the baggage scanners known from ev
ery airport around the world.

... Read the full article in the InFocus Magazin here


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