What is FDA Food Grade Silicone made up of?
FDA food grade silicone is a versatile and robust man-made synthetic polymer, made up primarily of non-toxic silica.
Known for its unique features, FDA food grade silicone is resistant to extreme temperatures, stresses and environments. Food grade silicone is commonly used for a wide range of purposes within the food and beverage sector, replacing more traditional options such as rubber.
FDA compliancy signifies that the material is safe for direct contact with food, making food grade silicone an ideal tool to be used within the manufacturing, packing, packaging, transport or holding of food.
There are several key factors that have established FDA food grade silicone as a leading material for use within the food manufacturing and processing industry, and paved the way for its use in food applications.
Why is Silicone used in food applications?
The highly versatile, flexible, and durable nature of FDA food grade silicone provides the perfect basis for a material suitable for a multitude of applications within the food industry.
Silicone rubber has a number of sought-after properties including:
- It is resistant to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. It can withstand anywhere between -60°C (-80 °F) and up to 230°C (450 °F) without losing its shape or durability.
- It is resistant to liquids, food oils and most chemicals, preventing leakages or contamination.
- Its antifungal and non-stick properties also contribute to a lesser chance of contamination, as well as preventing mould or fungal decay.
- Its flexible nature means it can be extruded and moulded to provide custom sealing profiles across a range of food applications
- It’s free of harmful fillers such as BPS and BPA, making it non-toxic and contributing to its food-safe status.
- The durable nature of silicone enables its resistance to environmental and external elements such as aging, weathering and ozonation, even under strenuous working conditions.
- It degrades slower than other organic elastomers, meaning FDA food grade silicone generally has a longer lifespan
- Its food grade status also allows silicone rubber to prevent discolouration, odour or other unwanted changes that may cause a product to become unfit for consumption.
It’s important to note that not all silicone is safe for use within the food industry. However, once approved by the FDA, the properties of food grade silicone make it a safe and non-toxic member of the silicone family, ideal for use in food and beverage applications.
Food Grade Silicone applications
FDA food grade silicone is used for a wide number of purposes within the food sector, including:
- Gaskets for food processing machinery
- Food transfer tubing
- Dairy tubing and fluid handling
- Vending tubing
- Brewery tubing and seals
- Antimicrobial belting
- Commercial oven seals
- Coffee machine tubing=
- Food grade beverage gaskets
- Vibration pads
- Electrical insulators
To be considered FDA food grade, silicone must adhere to FDA regulations, allowing it to be a suitable material for food contact. It must also be animal fat and chemical resistant, as well as waterproof.
Silicone Engineering are a leading provider of high-performing FDA food grade silicone solutions fit for use across the food and beverage industry. To find out more about the products we offer please visit our food and beverage page or get in touch.