The Role of Calibration in the Food Industry

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Alicia Palin

Published on 3 March 2022

The importance of calibration in the food industry cannot be overstressed. It is vital that all measuring devices belonging to producers and caterers are able to function accurately – and the only effective way to achieve this is via expert calibration methods

In this article, we’ll explore the purpose of calibration when working with foodstuffs and explain the specific importance of calibration in the food industry. Finally, we’ll discuss how regularly sensors and measurement methods will require checks of this kind.

 

The Purpose of Calibration

The calibration of industrial measuring equipment should be regularly undertaken to ensure that all devices are performing as accurately as possible.

By utilising specialist machines that enable measuring equipment to be set to the tight industry standards required, food sector professionals can ensure consistent quality and an assured level of food safety every time.

A wide range of food industry measurement equipment can – and should – be regularly calibrated. These include instruments to measure and maintain:

  • Temperature
  • PH
  • Weight
  • Container Pressure
  • Levels

There are clear reasons why calibration is so vital for food producers, treatment and packaging specialists, caterers and other specialists within the industry.

Those reasons are quality control and food hygiene. Most foodstuffs are required to be stored in the correct amounts, in suitable temperatures to prevent spoilage or a reduction in quality.

In the worst case, where measurement devices are not properly calibrated, spoiled or incorrectly treated food can become a major health hazard. Lesser issues include uneven portioning or insufficient treatment or seasoning, resulting in poor customer satisfaction or shorter shelf life.

Failing to regularly calibrate equipment can lead to breaches of food safety regulations. Not only is this dangerous for consumers, but it can also lead to prosecution and penalties for the companies at fault.

If serious negligence can be proven, closures may be enforced.

Due to the factors listed above, the importance of calibrating equipment cannot be denied.

 

Does Regular Calibration Improve Food Quality?

It is undoubtedly the case that calibration plays a huge part in the maintenance or improvement of food quality.

It greatly reduces the risk of measurement inaccuracies and mistakes – including issues regarding storage temperatures and treatments – which in turn reduces the likelihood of foodborne illnesses in consumers.

What is more, insufficient calibration can lead to significant losses, with up to 20% of raw materials being wasted by producers due to the use of inappropriate frequencies or tolerances being applied.

Through proper calibration, food producers can be more certain of the consistency of their product’s quality. The more closely equipment is monitored, and the more regularly it is calibrated, the more likely it is that excellent standards may be maintained.

H2: How Often Should Devices be Calibrated?

Measurement devices and equipment should be calibrated at least once per year. This goes for:

  • Ultrasonic level sensors
  • Level switches
  • Capacitive level sensors
  • Guided wave radars

 

Transducers should be calibrated at two-year intervals at the most.

It is best to check the guidance that comes with each piece of equipment – or to contact its manufacturer – to find out the official advice regarding individual devices.

 

Where Can I Get My Device Calibrated?

In order to calibrate measurement equipment, from oil tank level sensors and water tank level sensors to thermometers and scales, it is best to seek out trusted providers of specialist equipment.

GNW Instrumentation has long provided high-quality equipment and advice for the calibration of a range of equipment within the food industry.

For more information about our devices, to get your equipment calibrated, or for information about the best calibration techniques for your machinery, get in touch with our experienced specialists today.