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How to Prevent Metal Contamination in Your Bakery

Metal contamination can occur at any point during the baking process. Contaminated raw materials, production machinery, and wear iron fragments introduced by moving parts in processing can lead to end-product contamination if preventative measures are not taken seriously.
Read on to learn more about metal contamination in the baking industry and how adequate and compliant magnetic separation equipment can prevent contamination of your baked goods.

Metal Contamination in the Baking Industry

There are two main sources that lead to metal contamination in the baking industry: foreign materials in incoming ingredients and wear from processing machinery. 

Foreign materials in incoming ingredients can come from farming machinery, transportation, the milling process, and more. Contamination can include materials such as nails, screws, and fine magnetic particles, including magnetic stone. If larger contaminants make their way into your ingredients and are not removed, they can damage your processing equipment, resulting in downtime, highly expensive repairs or replacements, product quarantine issues, and potential recalls and consumer safety issues if they end up in your finished product. Machine-related issues and machinery wear can happen during the production process. Metal contamination associated with baking equipment includes broken parts from machinery and fine metal fragments from gradual wear of equipment, such as mixers, rotary valves, and pumps.

How Are Food Processing Magnets Used in Baking?

The baking industry uses specially designed magnetic separation equipment to successfully improve food safety and product purity by removing ferrous metal particles from raw and processed ingredients, no matter how small. Magnetic separation works by allowing ingredients to flow past food processing magnets positioned in stream, such as a magnetic probe, plate, a drawer magnet, pneumatic transfer magnet or other magnetic separator that attracts metal contaminants. 

With the right magnetic separation technology, metal fragments can be collected AND retained to reduce the risk of food contamination and potential safety hazards. Magnetic separation is a must if you want to improve the quality of your ingredients and your final product, and comply with food safety standards. 

How Does Magnetic Separation Help With HACCP Compliance?

Producers of baked goods have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe. One of the most effective ways to guarantee food safety is by using Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems.

HACCP is an internationally recognized plan designed for the prevention and control of potential hazards in the food industry, such as microbiological, chemical, and physical contaminants. It is widely recognized by food safety professionals that effective and engineered magnetic separation equipment that is compliant with the HACCP International 0909 MAGSEP 1-2010 Standard is one of the most effective ways of reducing metal contamination risks. By using appropriate magnetic separation equipment on your production line, you can adhere to HACCP regulations that guarantee consumer food safety. 

Types of Magnetic Separation Equipment Used in the Baking Industry

You can choose from a wide range of magnetic separation equipment to remove unwanted contaminants and foreign objects from your baking ingredients and baked goods, including:

Drawer Magnets 

Drawer magnets, also known as grate magnets, are used for metal detection and collection in a wide range of food and dairy processing plants. Drawer magnets are composed of a series of magnetic tubes or bars arranged in a grid pattern. As the food product passes through the drawer magnet, contaminants are retained at the surface of the magnetic bars. 

Tubular Drawer Magnets

Tubular drawer magnets are designed for space-restricted locations and to overcome disadvantages of existing conventional drawer magnet technology. The single bar cleaning ensures no risk of drawer jamming, a problem typically associated with multi-bar cleaning methods and sleeved grate magnets. By adding tubular drawer magnets to your production line, you can fully inspect magnet bars before they’re returned to your product flow, which is an essential step for reducing recontamination risks and maintaining hygienic magnetic separation.

Plate Magnets

Plate magnets consist of a flat or stepped face plate made of magnetic material. Plate Magnets are typically installed in bakeries in applications where the mixture, such as sticky muesli mix, is likely to block through a conventional drawer magnet.

Pneumatic Line Magnets

Often referred to as bullet-type magnets or cartridge magnets, pneumatic line magnets are designed to capture and retain metal chips, fine-wear iron, and rust flakes from high-velocity flow applications. The Magnattack® Spherical Pneumatic Line Magnets offer maximum magnetic strength with an engineered fragment retention design. They’re also equipped with a bellied housing around the aerodynamic magnet, which reduces pressure change and prevents particle breakdown or density change to your baking ingredients.

Liquid Line Magnets

Traditional liquid trap or finger magnets can help you extract metal from liquid ingredients, but they’re prone to bending and are difficult to clean. At Magnattack®, we provide several options that make liquid processing more efficient. Our Pressure Pipeline Separators provide a safe, effective way to separate ferrous metals from liquids in a production line using a powerful magnetic field. For thick, viscous slurry applications, we can supply the Magnattack® Emulsion & Slurry Pipeline Separator, which excels in effectively removing and retaining metal fragments from dense products, such as batter mixes, mince meat, and more. We also offer Retromag Kits which are designed to be easily retrofitted to your existing line and capture and remove magnetic contaminants from liquids. 

Key Takeaways 

Prevent Metal Contamination With Magnattack®

Magnattack® has over 50 years of experience helping companies like yours identify, collect, and remove foreign metals from food products to improve consumer safety, avoid recalls, and increase product purity. Our wide range of magnetic separators are designed for both wet and dry applications and can be customized for your processing line. With our magnetic separation equipment, you can make sure your products are safe for consumption. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our food processing magnets engineered for the baking industry.

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