Missouri-based organic rice and popcorn farm switches from metal detection to Loma X-ray inspection technology to meet major customer’s HACCP requirements. 

Illinois-based Loma Systems® (www.loma.com) has recently completed the installation of a Bulk Flow X-ray inspection machine at McKaskle Family Farm located in Braggadocio, Missouri. This follows the supply of a rental X5 SpaceSaver X-ray model within a short time frame earlier in 2016. The quick turnaround was prompted when a major end customer asked the large organic rice and popcorn processing farm to urgently switch from metal detection to X-ray inspection technology to meet vital HACCP requirements.

Kaye and Stephen McKaskle have continued their families’ five generation tradition of farming in Braggadocio, Missouri. In 1992, the couple began the transition from conventional to organic farming. The McKaskles now farm over 2000 acres organically and cultivate a wide array of crops including popcorn, basmati and long grain rice, soybeans, corn, cotton and oats.

McKaskle Family Farm market organic popcorn and rice under the Braggadocio® brand and, after acquiring TBOR, LLC in 2015, also offer Texas Organic Rices® which are available in over 3000 supermarkets and stores. The business also co-packs and provides bulk and ingredient organic grains. All McKaskle products are non-GMO project verified, orthodox kosher, OCIA and USDA certified organic. The facilities are HACCP and GMP certified.

McKaskle Family Farm owner, Stephen McKaskle comments: “In April 2016, one of our major customers requested that we install X-ray technology instead of metal detection to meet HACCP requirements for the inspection of loose, free-flowing rice for a range of contaminants. The customer advised they would stop purchasing our food products until the X-ray bulk flow inspection system was installed and completely operational. Their Food

Safety Director passed me the details of two X-ray equipment manufacturers but after some investigation both said they could not offer us a finished X-ray system in a timeframe to suit our need.

Stephen continues: “With our reputation for quality leadership at stake, we were advised to speak to Loma Systems who agreed to loan an existing X5 SpaceSaver model within the required tight time frame. After meeting with the team at Loma and learning more about their impressive X-ray inspection technology and ‘Designed to Survive®’ ethos, I also agreed to purchase a Bulk Flow X-ray machine.

“As promised, the rental X5 SpaceSaver was delivered and operational within two weeks, which was fantastic for our business.”

Part of the wider X5 range of X-Ray systems available from Loma, the Spacesaver model was designed to offer a 20% footprint reduction over similar models available on the market, whilst offering a 25% improvement in detection performance compared to previous generation systems.

The X-ray system detects and rejects foreign body contaminants such as bone, glass, stones, dense plastics and ceramics, as well as being able to identify conventional metal fragments. It can also identify improperly packaged product for: size, shape, length, fill level, component count and presence; all essential quality control elements for food processors.

The X5 Spacesaver incorporates a host of user-centric features designed to optimize inspection, which includes Adaptive Array Technology (AAT). This new technology tailors resolution, depth and scaling to give the best performance for any product requiring inspection.

“As well as being easy to install and operate, we were 100% satisfied with the performance of the X5 SpaceSaver,” adds Stephen. “In fact, we were so impressed that we decided to go on and purchase the loan unit for inspection of packs of cornmeal, polenta, rice flour, grits and popcorn, as well as 2Ib and 25Ib bags of rice. The new Bulk Flow X-ray inspection system, which has recently been installed, is successfully checking free-flowing bulk rice for a wide range of contaminants.”

Loma’s Bulk Flow X-ray inspection system is designed for the accurate inspection of loose, bulk flowing products such as nuts, grains, cereals or frozen fruits to improve quality control before they are processed or packaged.

Stephen says: “Both the Loma X-ray systems have helped strengthen our quality control processes by checking for contaminants that the metal detector would have been unable to find. We truly believe that this is the best X-ray technology for ruling out every possibility of foreign bodies in our products. It has alleviated a lot of stress from the business and provided the peace of mind that we have protection from the risk of costly product recalls and potential damage to our reputation and brand.

He concludes: “Loma succeeded where others failed. By agreeing to supply the rental machine they secured the sale of two X-ray systems. We are grateful to Loma for helping us when other inspection equipment manufacturers could not. The company’s technical team are very accessible and the overall service and support was excellent. We would strongly recommend them to other food processors.”