Foreign Materials Identification

Foreign Materials

Is that metal in my food?? Whether it be unknown particles, fibres, deposits, debris or a strange discolouration, our materials engineers regularly work with a variety of industries (e.g. beverage, flooring, industrial, retail) to solve their contamination complaints. 

It is often quite a shock for a production manager to be confronted with a contamination issue. Not only might this result in a serious safety concern for the consumer, or the potential for a large loss of product, if not addressed fast, can kill a company’s reputation.

Assisting our Customers

Our customer feedback so far for this service is clear: prompt delivery of results is crucial to initiate corrective action as quickly as possible. Therefore to meet our customer demand we now offer a 24 hour preliminary result turnaround. Once the contamination has been identified, critical decisions can be made which might include:

  • To fix a manufacturing production, product, transportation or packaging issue
  • To reassure the consumer
  • To initiate a product recall
  • To investigate maintenance and cleaning procedures

Foreign Materials Identification
Foreign Materials Identification

Identification Process

The process involves not only chemically identifying what the contaminate material is, but also characterising its form including surface texture, witness marks and thickness under high magnification imaging. All samples will be placing within a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to study the contaminate carefully.

All results are collated and a likely source can be determined, whether it be during production, transportation or in-service at the consumer’s end.

Materials that can be identified might include:

  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Fibres
  • Rubbers
  • Composites
  • Coatings
  • Trace particulates

If you ever need a contaminate issue quickly solved, please don’t hesitate to contact us.