Contaminants can be introduced either along with raw materials or through failures of manufacturing equipment. In any case, a quick identification of the source is vital. Individual particles such as glass or metal fragments can be easily performed in a scanning electron microscope where energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy is used to establish the particle’s composition and morphology, leading to the identification of their origin. Elemental mapping can be used to identify dispersed contaminants in powders.
As food sourcing becomes increasingly globalised so do concerns about food origination and contamination. Our x-ray sources form an essential part of the tools that deliver fast and accurate detection of toxic chemicals in foods such as cadmium & arsenic in rice, and for detection of heavy metals such as lead and mercury in soils.
The above image is a scanning electron microscope image of a metal particle