What is Foreign Object Detection?

Any particle, substance, debris, or agent found in an inappropriate location is considered as foreign object debris. For example it could be an unwanted particle in the food, or any object poses a danger to its environment.
What is foreign body detection?

Imagine a time when you go out to savor your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant. As you are about to relish the flavors, you notice an unknown object on the food. How would that make you feel? This happens majorly due to a lack of efficient foreign body detection solutions.

Foreign body detection is the process of identifying and detecting unwanted objects (debris) in raw and packaged food. Foreign bodies have been the most significant driver of consumer complaints in the food-processing business. We have many ways of detecting foreign bodies including spatial positioning and sorting to extrude any foreign bodies.

This blog talks about foreign body detection and its types. How foreign body detection is detected using computer vision in manufacturing.

Foreign object detection is a significant quality and safety control concept in any industry like aviation, aerospace, manufacturing, warehouse, shipping, military or similar environment under which simple debris, loose objects, wildlife, and sometimes humans have the tendency to affect.

What is foreign object or debris?

Any particle, substance, debris, or agent found in an inappropriate location is considered as foreign object debris. For example, it could be an unwanted particle in the food, or any object poses a danger to its environment.

Examples of foreign object debris include tools, loose hardware, building materials, paper, paper clips, pens, coins and badges, Trash, food wrappers, and beverage containers, rocks, sand, and loose vegetation, baggage tags and pieces of luggage, hats, rags, and gloves, birds, wildlife and stray animals, volcanic ash.

What is foreign object caused damage?

The damage caused by foreign object debris affects a manufactured product’s performance, usability, or business viability.

For instance, damage caused by fan blades shred when pulled into a turbojet.

Coming to our food it’s crucial to know what kind of foreign object (or objects) might be present in your diet. Food recalls involving foreign objects set a new way in the year 2018.

For example, Wayne farms recalled 439,000 lbs (approximately 20 tons) of ready-to-eat chicken in 2018 when a piece of metal was discovered in the product. After a consumer found a piece of red plastic in a snickers bar, mars recalled chocolate products from 55 countries (mainly in Europe) in 2016.

The above examples say how debris is affecting the food industry.

We have various foreign body detections like manufacturing, food processing, Airports, traffic control, etc.

How does foreign body detection work in food manufacturing?

Sometimes foreign material ends in finished foods and products during manufacturing or preparation. Usually happens by the negligence of employees and equipment failure. Luckily for food makers, we have custom foreign body detection solutions to assist them in detecting unwanted debris.

For example, their main problem is eliminating foreign objects from food products for crushed candy manufacturers. These could include anything from a loose bolt and hairnet.

Why is it a challenge?

Traditionally computer vision identifies products of a specific type. To solve the problem of detecting debris on crushed candies, counting meatballs, detecting damages in packed boxes we use computer vision and infrared cameras. 

The reason to use infrared cameras is that debris must be detected at room temperature while crushing frozen candies. So we use infrared cameras to make the process more accessible. By this method, we get more redundancy and increased accuracy.

What happens after debris detection?

When the system detects a debris camera PLC integration enables us to activate the reject belt sending damaged goods on the conveyor belt to the reject mechanism.

We get periodic reports on detected debris every month. As a result, these can be fed back into food manufacturing units.


Foreign object detection remains a crucial technology for the manufacturing industry. It is mandatory to remove debris and other contaminants from the production process. Maintaining successful operations and high product quality is paramount in achieving reliable foreign object detection.

Visionify is a leader in providing factory vision solutions that detect and categorize debris into high-resolution videos and images. Send detected products with debris to reject mechanism. Our solution is accurate and easy to deploy. Call us to get a demo.