A new x-ray technology promises greater performance for food marketers who are shipping salads, potatoes and other food and want to make sure contaminants and foreign matter is excluded during packaging.

Tampa, Fla.-based Eagle Product Inspection is marketing its Material Discrimination X-ray technology, or MDX, to food manufacturers, Kyle Thomas, strategic business unit manager for the company said in a news release.

Conventional X-ray inspection technology, the release said, can effectively detect certain types of contaminants in food products, including stainless steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, calcified bone, mineral stone and high density plastics and rubber.

However, Thomas said that conventional x-ray technology has more difficulty in detecting inorganic contaminants such as glass shards, low density plastics and rubber, or stones and rocks when present in a complex density product such as packedaged salad.

“MDX is an enhanced X-ray technology that can discriminate between high and low X-ray channels,” Thomas said in the release.

For example, Eagle Product Inspection’s Material Discrimination X-ray technology, or MDX, can find flat glass and stone in mixed nuts. That is something conventional X-ray technology finds challenging to do, according to the release.

Customers are already benefiting from MDX technology, according to the release.

One potato packer in the Northwest is using the MDX technology to flag low-density rocks and golf balls during production, according to the release.

A golf course close to potato fields resulted in some balls being brought in with the potato harvest, but the MDX technology makes sure they are removed, according to the release.

“Needless to say food manufacturers need to ensure that there is no risk that any of these golf balls or for that matter any other foreign contaminant will make its way into the downstream production process and finally into the potato products which will be sold to the consumer,” Thomas said in the release.

More information about the technology is available online.