Why is Stainless Steel the Optimum Choice for Food Processing Equipment
Amongst several metals available, the food industry utilizes Stainless Steel (SST) for the construction of almost all food processing and storage equipment. Various grades of stainless steel such as 304, 316, 409, and 439 are extensively used for manufacturing, bulk storage, transportation, preparation, and presentation applications in the food industry.
What Makes Stainless Steel a Popular Choice?
Exceptional mechanical strength, easy formability and weldability, and excellent heat resistant properties are some among the several advantages of stainless steel. Some other benefits that add popularity of Stainless steel for applications in food industry> include:
- It prevents contamination and maintains freshness of food items.
- SST -retains its natural color for long years.
- Available in a wide range of decorative finishes.
- Allows for easy cleaning, thus preventing any growth of dirt, grime, or bacteria.
- Can withstand denting, nicking, and scratching even in aggressive operating conditions.
- Suitable for handling food items containing spicy ingredients and strong coloring agents.
- Can withstand shock and abrasion.
- It is durable, provides resistance to corrosion and aging.
- Provides chemical and bacteriological neutrality with regard to food products.
- Possess excellent cryogenic properties.
- Can withstand heavy wash downs using chemicals or other detergents.
- Cooked foods, some vegetables and additives produce some amount of acids and alkalis. Stainless steel is inert to those alkalis and acids.
- It does not crack, break or pit easily.
- Can blend perfectly with other fixtures and finishes.
- Withstands fire and does not warp or buckle easily.
- It is more formable compared to other metals.
- SST is neutral to food items; hence the smell, taste and color of the item handled remain unchanged.
Also, stainless steel can be easily formed into necessary shapes to fabricate a wide range of equipment and machineries used in the food processing industry.
These food grade metals are extensively used in the fabrication of:
- Professional Knives, and Spatulas
- Evaporator tubes
- Flour Silos
- Syrup tanks
- Beer kegs
- Ice Cream Moulds
- Conveyor Systems
- Double wall food transport container
- Tanks for low-fat milk
- Food mixer
- Peeling machine
- Food pulverizer
- Confectionery equipment
- Industrial ovens
Stainless Steel – Meeting FDA Hygiene Requirements
The government of the USA has proposed some laws which recommend the use of high grade materials in the making of food grade equipment and machineries. According to those laws and several other rules proposed by FDA, food processing equipment must be easily cleanable, corrosion resistant, and must have smoothly bonded seams. Stainless steel helps in achieving all these requirements and conditions. This food grade metal possesses several physical and mechanical properties which make it ideal for demanding and hygiene required process environments.