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Explaining Third-Party Certified Magnet Validations

In the food processing industry, third-party certified magnet validations play a crucial role to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. But what exactly is a third-party certified magnet validation?

In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics related to third-party certified magnet validations:

  • What Is a Magnet Validation?
  • What’s Involved in a Magnet Validation?
  • Different Types of Magnet Validation Testing Methods

What Is a Magnet Validation?

Just like metal detectors and x-ray equipment, magnets play a vital role in capturing and retaining foreign metal contaminants. But there’s more to it than just having a magnet in place. To be effective, magnets need to be strong enough, positioned correctly in the flow of product, installed properly, and adequate retention efficiency and product coverage, among many other factors. These factors all influence the effectiveness of a magnet and can be determined through magnet validation.

What’s Involved in a Magnet Validation?

A magnet validation is a crucial magnet auditing process used to determine the effectiveness of magnets. It involves testing and inspecting various aspects of a magnets function and specifications, such as its strength, condition, coverage, retention, and more. By validating magnets, food processing facilities can ensure that these powerful tools meet and comply with the most current industry standards. During the validation process, magnets are tested using a calibrated gauss meter to determine the surface strength, in accordance with the magnet validation requirements listed in the HACCP International Food Safety Standard 0909 MAGSEP 1-2010. A magnet validation will help food processors know how effective their foreign metal fragment controls really are and, if there is room for improvement and reduction of risks along with how they can achieve a higher level of control. 

Magnet Validation Reports

Magnet validation reports are included with magnet strength testing, offering more than just a strength reading. These reports provide you with in-depth and accurate information about the status of your foreign metal fragment controls. With detailed inspection reports for each magnet, you get a clear picture of how effective your controls are. Magnetic separation experts also provide valuable advice on how to better manage your hazards and reduce the risks of metal contamination remaining in your final product. If you need new or upgraded magnetic separation systems, magnet validation reports also include generic recommendations. By investing in magnet validation testing and reporting, you can get a better understanding of how high-risk areas and critical control points need special attention.

With magnet validation reports, you can ensure that your magnetic separators are:

  • Designed to current industry standards
  • Are of specified strength related to the specific location and duty of the magnet
  • Are installed correctly and in appropriate locations to minimize risk
  • Provide maximum product stream coverage
  • Have adequate retention of metal fragments collected
  • Provide safe operation and easy but effective cleaning ability for operators
  • Are in good physical shape and do not pose a contamination risk + more!

Magnet validation reports benefit food industry clients by:

  • Reducing the risk of metal contamination in the final product
  • Protecting sensitive processing equipment
  • Provide control of potential metal introduction from incoming raw materials (supplier accountability)
  • Reducing the risk of consumer complaints, brand name damage, food recalls, and financial loss
  • Preparing for upcoming plant audits and inspections
  • Complying with stringent QA and industry standards

Plant risk assessments are a great step toward managing foreign metal contamination in the food processing industry.

Different Methods of Magnet Validation Testing

For food processing companies, it’s all about safety and quality control. Magnetic separators play a crucial role in ensuring that our food is free from any metal contaminants that could be harmful. And to guarantee they’re working optimally, frequent testing and validations are essential. 

When it comes to testing magnetic separators, there’s always been a debate. Some manufacturers prefer pull testing, while others swear by Gauss testing.

Pull Testing vs. Gauss Testing

Pull testing involves measuring the force required to remove a magnetic steel test ball from a magnetic surface, while Gauss testing measures the strength of a magnetic field using a calibrated gauss meter. Each method has its pros and cons, but finding the most accurate one is key to maintaining food safety standards.

By carefully analyzing the readings, food safety personnel can evaluate the performance and uniformity of the magnet’s magnetic field. 

So, which method is more effective and why?

We have an answer backed up by years of research, experience, and discussion with industry professionals and food safety boards such as HACCP International:

The most effective and accurate method of testing magnet strength is with a calibrated gauss meter.

The main reasons behind this are that the figures for Gauss and pull test confirm that pull in ounces is not an SI value, meaning there is not an equivalent ratio between Gauss flux density and ounce pull over a variety of magnets.

Additionally to this, the Food Safety Standard 0909 MAGSEP 1-2010 for final magnets in a food-related process correctly specifies final magnets should be a minimum of 10,000 gauss at 22 mm pole centers. For example, 10% more in pull test value with longer or wider pole centers may mean 20-30% less separating efficiency –a maximum of 22mm pole centers for final magnets at a minimum of 10,000 gauss on supply should be specified.

The most efficient magnet grate tube or bar for separating fine and weakly magnetic contamination is not the magnet showing the highest pull test value. The most efficient magnet will have the highest gauss at the shortest distance between pole band centers.

It is for these reasons that pull tests are not allowed in the current MAGSEP Standard as the basis for certified magnet validations on final packing or outloading magnets, however, they may be used internally as a means of periodic “checking” of magnet hold strengths in between external technicians providing on-site magnet testing and validation services.

What Types of Magnets Need Validation Testing?

It’s essential to conduct an annual magnet validation on all permanent final magnets used in the process flow of a food manufacturing facility. In addition, magnets on intake areas where supplier quality needs to be monitored and controlled should have the same standard as final magnets applied – for example, flour intakes in major bakery facilities.

Here are some examples of magnets that should be tested regularly: 

  • Magnetic Plates collect medium and small-size contaminants and are installed in chutes, spouts, ducts, and over non-magnetic conveyors and screens. 
  • Magnetic Grates or Drawer Magnets remove fine, smaller particles from dry and free-flowing products and are versatile enough to fit various applications with odd shapes and vertical chutes.
  • Grates in Housings are similar to magnetic grates and are installed in custom-manufactured housings to remove ferrous particles from free-flowing dry products.
  • Magnetic Traps and Liquid Line Magnets purify products in pumped liquid, emulsion, and slurry lines by removing small particles of scale, oxides, and iron contaminants.
  • Pneumatic Line Magnets collect contaminants from high-velocity flow pneumatic transfer lines, where retention of metals can be challenging.
  • Bar Magnets are installed at the point of discharge on conveyor belts. 

Key Takeaways

  • Magnet validation involves testing various properties of magnets, such as their strength, and magnetic field, product stream coverage, retention of collected fragments, design, and more. 
  • Magnet validation reports are included with on-site magnet validation testing, offering more than just a strength reading.
  • With magnet validation reports, you can determine whether your magnetic separators are designed to current industry standards.
  • Magnet validation reports benefit food industry clients by giving them the information necessary to reduce the risks of metal contamination in the final product.
  • Some manufacturers prefer pull testing, while others swear by Gauss testing. Backed up by years of research, experience, and discussion with industry professionals and food safety boards such as HACCP International, the most effective and accurate method of testing magnet strength is with a calibrated Gauss meter, however, pull testing may be a common satisfactory method of “checking” magnets in between external magnet audits.

Partner With Our Third-Party Certified Magnet Validation Testing Experts

Magnets are essential for food safety and foreign metal contamination control in the food processing industry. Just like metal detectors and x-ray equipment, magnets are used to capture and retain foreign metal contaminants to ensure the quality and safety of our food. That’s why Magnattack® Global has partnered with Active Magnetics Research to offer HACCP-Certified magnet validations, with reporting methods and content certified by HACCP international. This means that we validate your magnets to not only check their strength, but we determine whether they are positioned correctly in the flow of product and installed, designed and able to provide optimal retention efficiency, to effectively reduce risks for our client, and provide meaningful, useful and consistent reporting.AMR has extensive experience in foreign metal fragment control system design, testing, and analysis, making them the perfect partner for Magnattack® Global. Together, we’re improving foreign metal controls and protecting millions of consumers and many major food processors from risks of potential metal contaminants in their final products. Contact us today to schedule your magnet validation test.

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