Metal Detectors a Sweet Addition to Donut Business

The company is now transporting over 60 million doughnuts to stores across North America.


In the space of three years, Arizona-based Doughnut Peddler has gone from a single-bakery operation servicing a single state, to a multi-site enterprise supplying retailers across nine North American states.

To keep pace with demand, 2017 saw the opening of two new bakeries - in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Charlotte, North Carolina. Doughnut Peddler also has two more openings planned for this year, in Orlando, Florida and Houston, Texas. The company is now making more than 800,000 deliveries each year, transporting over 60 million doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters and other freshly baked goods to convenience stores across North America.

The company had always wanted to invest in metal detection, but needed a business justification for the investment. This rapid expansion provided the opportunity and the commercial case that Doughnut Peddler needed. “We always strive for perfection in terms of efficiency, food safety and quality. We want to hit the highest industry standards and make sure we protect our customers and end-consumers with a safety program they are confident in. Metal detection adds another layer of ‘failsafe’ protection,” explains Jason Yada, National Director of Sales at Doughnut Peddler. 

From a metal detection perspective, the project wasn’t entirely straightforward. Doughnuts come out of the fryer and onto a 12' cooling conveyor made from high temperature belting. Doughnut Peddler wanted to mount the detectors at this point, as it provides the last opportunity to check the doughnuts before they are packed into plastic trays that sit in metal baskets.

However, the combination of high temperatures and moisture creates a ‘product effect’ that can confuse metal detection equipment, as it cannot discriminate between this and actual metal contamination. This can result in frequent false rejects being triggered. 

With Doughnut Peddler’s lines running continuously at speeds of 160 doughnuts per minute, the company could not entertain the possibility of false rejects disrupting production. 

Fortress’ Stealth metal detector was able to able to help the company meets its goals, thanks to a technical platform that can provide high-speed precision detection, and dual frequency operation, which facilitates automatic compensation for extreme product characteristics. Fortress contains all of its processing power on one board. 

These technical and mechanical features ensure that signals created by mechanical, electrical, airborne and product stimulants are nullified or eliminated. This allows the detector to effectively identify signals created by the three types of metals -  ferrous, non-ferrous and 300 Series stainless steel.

The presence of reliable metal detectors has enabled the dynamic doughnut producer to elevate its lines to top food safety standards, meeting GMP requirements and winning the confidence of new retail customers.