PTFE in the food industry
PTFE is a plastic whose combination of properties is unique and qualifies it for use in demanding applications.
The universal resistance to almost all chemicals enables the long-term use of PTFE in all foodstuffs. The fact that PTFE does not absorb water or any other liquid also enables different media to be changed quickly without mutual interference. Static and dynamic seals made of PTFE solve many problems that often could not be resolved adequately with other materials.
The wide operating temperature range from -260°C to +300°C allows for use in the low temperature and frozen food range as well as in applications where food is cooked, baked or roasted. In addition, use with microwaves is completely problem-free. In addition, PTFE can be cleaned and sterilised using all common methods. Embrittlement or ageing is not an issue for PTFE.
The non-stick properties of PTFE are proverbial. This feature is particularly useful when processing dough. PTFE is also frequently used as a coating or as a lining or lining for containers, mixers or as a coating for sliding tracks at elevated temperatures. Devices or compressors which must not be lubricated are usually equipped with bearing and sealing elements made from a PTFE compound.
PTFE and some PTFE compounds are fully compliant with current FDA and EU regulations for food production and processing.
EU Declaration of Conformity
All materials which come into contact with foodstuffs during their production or processing must - depending on the area of application - comply with the applicable regulations and approvals so that people’s health is not adversely affected by the exposure to harmful substances.
In the USA, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) was founded in 1927 in order to establish corresponding requirements and to monitor compliance. This agency continually issues guidelines and regulations that have become the worldwide standard for the production of foodstuffs and medicines. The EU has also issued a large number of similar binding directives and regulations for its member states.
A particular tenet of these regulations is that the “distributor” is ultimately responsible and liable for compliance with the rules and directives. This means, for example, that the use of a seal in a device, appliance or mechanical installation must already comply with the regulation. So that “distributor” does not have to carry out all the testing procedures themselves, they can rely on upstream suppliers who have obtained approval for the material used and are thus entitled to issue an appropriate certificate for the delivery of the material. This approval not only includes compliance with the material quality, but also with the production or manufacturing process. Beichler + Grünenwald has obtained these approvals for PTFE and for other PTFEs with additives.