Why Stainless Steel Is Popular in the Food & Beverage Industry

various stainless steel equipment in a beverage production facility

Why Stainless Steel Is Popular in the Food & Beverage Industry 

Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains a minimum of 10.5% chromium, though the average is between 16-18%. The addition of chromium, along with a small amount of nickel, gives stainless steel unique corrosion-resistance properties that make it ideal for food and beverage applications. In fact, more than 30% of stainless steel in the industry is used to manufacture food and beverage equipment. Let’s take a closer look at why stainless steel is so popular in this industry. 

Inherent Corrosion Resistance 

The chromium element in stainless steel oxidizes the surface, making the material 200 times more resistant to corrosion than other types of steel. Stainless steel, therefore, has inherent biocompatible and hygienic properties that make it safe for food and beverage production. Stainless steel grades 304 and 316 have high chromium content and are two of the most popular types used in the industry. 

How Does the Nonporous Surface of Stainless Steel Contribute to Its Suitability in the Food Industry? 

Chromium not only oxidizes stainless steel but also produces a nonporous surface that is free of tiny cracks and holes where bacteria can hide and grow. In fact, stainless steel is a cinch to keep clean and can be repeatedly sterilized without degrading the material.  

The nonporous surface of stainless steel is a key factor in its suitability for the food industry. This characteristic prevents the absorption of liquids, bacteria, and contaminants, ensuring a hygienic and easy-to-clean surface. Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining further promotes food safety and complies with stringent hygiene standards, making it an ideal material for food processing and preparation equipment. 

The Role of 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. in Endorsing Stainless Steel for Food & Beverage Processing Equipment? 

Stainless steel has been designated as a safe material for food and beverage production by 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. 3-A SSI is an independent not-for-profit corporation that is committed to advancing food safety through hygienic equipment design. 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. plays a significant role, as it establishes industry standards for hygienic design, promoting the use of materials like stainless steel that meet rigorous sanitary criteria. The endorsement ensures that equipment adheres to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety, instilling confidence in consumers and manufacturers alike. 

In What Ways Does Stainless Steel’s Formability Benefit the Food & Beverage Industry? 

With proper tools, such as a CNC plasma cutting table, stainless steel can be fabricated into nearly any shape to fit a wide variety of food processing applications. This malleable material is used in large equipment, such as vats, refrigerators, and countertops, and smaller items like cookers, grills, saucepans, and cutlery. 

Stainless steel’s exceptional formability is a significant advantage in the food and beverage industry. Its malleability allows for the fabrication of complex and customized equipment, meeting the diverse needs of food processing, storage, and transportation. The ability to create intricate designs and shapes enhances the efficiency and functionality of equipment, contributing to the seamless operations of the food and beverage industry. 

Lasting Performance 

Though it is an easily workable metal, stainless steel is still exceptionally strong and offers impressive resistance to elevated temperatures. Stainless steel food and beverage equipment lasts for years with little maintenance required, and the stainless-steel material is serviceable, further expanding its lifespan. 

Why is CNC Plasma Cutting Technology Significant for Fabricating Stainless Steel Equipment in This Industry? 

Professional steel fabricators who specialize in manufacturing parts and equipment for food and beverage applications need the proper equipment to meet the needs of their customers. One of the most popular tools in the industry for fabricating stainless steel is a CNC plasma cutting machine. This advanced technology allows for intricate and precise cuts in stainless steel, ensuring that components fit seamlessly. The ability to handle various thicknesses and create detailed designs enhances the efficiency of the fabrication process, contributing to the production of high-quality, customized stainless-steel equipment for the stringent requirements of the food and beverage sector. 

A Trusted Choice for Custom Fabrication Companies 

Machitech is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty CNC plasma cutting tables for custom fabrication. Our solutions are fully customizable and include free and unlimited lifetime support. Contact us today to learn more.