Gaskets and packing used in food production applications must be incapable of passing on contamination should they come into contact with product during the manufacturing process. For this reason, gaskets and packing made from materials which conform to FDA, USDA, USP or similar directives should always be selected for these types of applications.
Often, buyers will select gaskets and packing for food and other applications based on a consideration of requirements defined by the STAMP acronym – Size, Temperature, Application, Media, and Pressure. For food applications, sanitary performance is also a key requirement, not only for good manufacturing practices but also to ensure compliance with any regulatory directives that may be in force. Overlooking the need for sanitary sealing increases the risk that product may become tainted from a contaminated seal, which could result in recalls and possible line shutdowns.
While buyers should always follow the regulatory directives that apply within their particular jurisdiction, three widely-used directives that apply to gaskets and packing used in food applications are the following:
- United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA publishes regulations that specify which manufactured materials can come into contact with food and beverage products.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This organization oversees packaging materials and equipment used in meat and poultry processing.
- United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI. A non-governmental organization, the USP sets standards for materials used in food and beverage processing. Class VI compounds meet the tightest requirements for non-toxicity.
Choosing gaskets made from materials that comply with these, or similar, directives and requirements will pay dividends in reducing the risk of contamination during production.
CRG offers gaskets and packing for food applications that are made from materials complying with US FDA and other regulations. We offer gaskets made from both solid sheet and sponge materials. Food-grade seals we can supply include the following:
- Gaskets from EPDM and Nitrile. CRG uses these materials to produce gaskets which service many standard food-grade applications.
- Gaskets from PTFE. PTFE, or Teflon®. Gaskets made from these materials have higher resistance to chemicals and service higher temperatures and pressures without creep or cold-flow deformity.
- Silicone gaskets. Food-grade silicone rubbers have outstanding characteristics that make them a preferred material for food processing applications. The temperature resilience of silicone rubber, together with its non-stick and inert properties, make it especially attractive for use in food production environments. In addition, additives may be included in the compound to address food processing requirements. CRG produces silicone gaskets from metectSil™, a metal detectable silicone that includes additives which will register on a metal detectable scanner should the material degrade or decompose. In addition, we also supply silicone gaskets made from neutraSil™, an antimicrobial compound containing silver ions that inhibit bacterial growth.
- Food-grade pump packing. CRG supplies Teadit style 2005 pump packing which meets the requirements of FDA and USDA requirements under Title 21 Food and Drugs: Part 177.1500 – Perflourocarbon Resins; and Part 178.3570 – Lubricants with Incidental Food Contact. Manufactured using an advanced method of braiding and construction, Teadit style 2005 is a premium food-grade pump packing that offers excellent performance in service. It is especially well-suited for food applications involving sugar and alcohol. Style 2005 provides an FDA-compliant PTFE compression packing seal that protects rotating pumps and valves from fluid leaks – a vital consideration in food processing applications. Teadit style 2005 offers excellent dimensional stability and chemical resistance, while at the same time being non-contaminating. The result is excellent sealability and performance, particularly when compared with other PTFE packings currently offered in the marketplace.
Should you be seeking or sourcing gaskets and packing for food applications, CRG is your preferred source of supply. Our sales team will be pleased to review and discuss your needs and recommend the optimal solution for your particular application. To speak with a member of our sales team, please contact us directly at email@example.com.