Food processing companies face a variety of challenges in keeping their food safe while adhering to a tight timeline and budget. Meeting the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a major challenge—one that demands top-notch food processing equipment. Marlin Steel has years of experience in making custom food grade stainless steel baskets for a variety of food processing tasks.
What is Food Grade Stainless Steel?
Food grade stainless steel must meet the stringent standards of cleanliness required for the food industry. Grade 304 and Grade 316 stainless steel are exceptionally well suited for this application as they are corrosion resistant and easily sterilized. Further, food grade stainless steel is durable, long-lasting, resistant to wear and tear, and can withstand heat. In the food industry, food grade stainless steel again puts its versatility on display and may be used in food processing and manufacturing, brewing and distilling, or food preparation and catering.
Why is Stainless Steel Used in the Food Industry?
As noted above, the food industry has strict regulations regarding cleanliness and hygiene so that food products are not contaminated. Furthermore, in some food industries, the processing element cannot impact the end product and the ease of cleaning stainless steel surfaces makes it an excellent option. When coupled with the strength, durability, versatility, temperature and corrosion resistance, and cost effectiveness, food grade stainless steel is the best option for this application.
The Two Most Common Food Grade Steels
In the production of food safe stainless steel, Marlin Steel utilizes grade 304 and grade 316 steels. Both grade 304 and 316 stainless steels are durable in terms of tensile strength, corrosion and oxidation resistant, long lasting, and able to withstand the wear and tear of the food industry.
The most basic difference between grade 304 and grade 316 stainless steels is that 316 tends to have more nickel and a bit of molybdenum in the mix. The general mechanical properties of the two metals are essentially comparable. However, the increased nickel content and the inclusion of molybdenum allows for grade 316 stainless steel to have better chemical resistance than 304 stainless steel. As a result, grade 316 stainless steel can be slightly more costly.