Imagining a life without stainless steel in today’s world is difficult. The discovery of stainless steel in the 20th century was a revolutionary milestone. This wonderful alloy has become a favorite in various industries, such as construction, oil and gas, and marine. It’s even an architect’s favorite for modern furniture.
If your business operates in the food sector or food processing industry, chances are that it can benefit from using stainless steel over other materials. This alloy, for instance, finds diverse use in processing dairy and milk products, cooked meats, garden vegetables, confectionery, beer and wine, and other ingredients or food products.
Why does the food industry prefer stainless steel?
This alloy has the following characteristics that give it an edge over other metals or materials:
- Easy to Clean
Effective cleaning is vital in maintaining the overall quality of a material. The process of cleaning helps prevent corrosion in the future.
During metal fabrication, workers have several ways of removing surface contamination. One way is through electrolytic weld cleaning. Tig Brushâ„¢ explains that this process involves passivating and cleaning the metal surface by the application of electrolytic fluids and strong electric currents in a quick and cost-effective manner. When people use the right cleaning system during fabrication, they get rid of the time-consuming additional steps of surface refinishing and passivation.
The final products made using stainless steel are also easy to sterilize. Unlike other metals, stainless steel has no pores that can harbor bacteria and germs. You can easily wipe off any mess. What’s more, the alloy is not easily susceptible to bacteria. Food workers will love working with stainless steel thanks to its low maintenance.
2. Resistance to Corrosion
Metals, such as aluminum and stainless steel, don’t corrode easily. These materials contain at least 10.5 percent chromium. The reactive chromium creates a passive coating, which produces a barrier on the surface of the container. This barrier is protective of the surfaces of your metallic containers. Thanks to this property, you can store both liquid and solid foods safely in stainless steel containers.
Stainless steel, by nature, is one of the most durable metals on the market. This alloy is less prone to physical damage. What’s more, it’s resistant to rust, chemicals, and wear and tear related to aging. Although other metals may need maintenance during use, stainless steel will likely require fewer professional repairs.
4 . Sustainable
Many food companies are valuing sustainability. According to a report from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), food businesses are stepping up their sustainability efforts. They do this in response to consumer demands for greater transparency about the ethical, environmental, and health implications of the food people buy.
If you’re looking to improve the sustainability efforts of your food company, consider using this material. Stainless steel is 100 percent recyclable. If your food manufacturing company is concerned about the environmental impact of your business, you could use this alloy to mitigate some of this impact during the production process.
5. Stays Neutral with Food Items
The neutrality present in stainless steel is another property that food and beverage manufacturers like. This alloy will not alter the smell, taste, and color of any beverage or food. Stainless steel maintains the freshness of food items and helps prevent contamination.
A common grade of steel used in the processing and packaging of food is food-grade stainless steel, also known as grade 316. This particular type of steel has low carbon content. It is also resistant to salt exposure for any food process that requires saltwater or salt.
6. Easy to Fabricate
Stainless steel is not a difficult material to work with. Thanks to the alloy’s easy weldability and formability, you have many ways to fabricate stainless steel.
When you use the right techniques, you can easily form, weld, and cut this alloy into many shapes, especially with more modern metalworking procedures. This is why food-grade stainless steel is suitable for making small tools for various appliances, such as beer kegs, food mixers, spatulas, professional knives, and industrial ovens.
7. Compatible with Heat
Stainless steel can withstand high temperature and pressure without altering or morphing in any way. This alloy will also retain its shape under these conditions.
Although stainless steel products and equipment offer many benefits, this material still requires maintenance. You need to keep this alloy clean to avoid corrosion from taking place. Using nitric acid cleaners and iodine compounds, for instance, can disinfect the surface and help stop unwanted damage from occurring.
If you’re unsure what material to use for your food processing company, choose stainless steel. This material will benefit the production and bottom line of your business.
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