Fluorostore Discusses the Role of Fluoropolymers in the Food and Beverage Industry
There’s an old saying that says you are what you eat. Well, people want to make sure they are eating and drinking all-natural ingredients. Sure, labels on food packaging tell part of the story but how foods are manufactured plays just as large a role in what chemicals are or are not present in different foods and drinks. Fluoroplastics play a major role in ensuring the food and beverage industry can live up to the government standards for purity and safety. Workspaces that help process our food and beverages rely on high-quality polymers to keep people safe in and out of the building.
General purpose plastics are unable to withstand many common conditions within a facility that produces mass quantities of food and drink. Take for instance, the importance of the integrity of the wiring within a conveyor belt. In some cases, extreme temperatures call upon wiring to stand up to the heat – and at others they call upon wires to stand up to the cold. Wiring wrapped in general purpose plastic would deteriorate rapidly, exposing the food to everything it touches that it should not be touching. Fluoropolymers can withstand extreme temperatures and keep important wires secure. The same logic ca be applied to weather as well. Greenhouses rely on sprinkler systems and other tools that may be exposed to weather. It’s imperative that plastics are leveraged that are resistant to weather and can withstand common corrosion issues.
The most common types of fluoropolymers found in the beverage and food industry are types of FEP, PFA, and PTFE products. A lot of these are utilized in the products that help keep things like food conveyor belts clean. Cleanliness is obviously of huge importance in the food industry. In addition to cleanliness, these fluoropolymers are often utilized in different coatings on heat lamps to prevent them from shattering at high temperatures.
There’s no shortage of fluoropolymers found throughout the process of producing food and drink. PTFE tubing can often be found in UV lamps, non-stick surface covers, conveyor belts and more. They serve as the last line of defense between harmful chemicals and our food products. If these plastics were to fail, production would come to a halt and mistakes would lead to people getting sick. These unsung heroes of the food and beverage industry have been keeping the public safe for decades.