The right protective coatings on food service equipment make all the difference in the variety of products and the quality of service your team can provide. Protective coatings such as Teflon™ allow for FDA approval, more versatile cooking processes, streamlined preparation and cleaning, and extended equipment life span. The wrong coatings, however, can negatively affect your products, customers, and business. PTFE coatings are a high-performance option for enhancing safety in your kitchen or manufacturing facility.
Dangers of Improperly Coated Food Service Equipment
The food preparation equipment and surfaces your business uses need to adhere to strict health and safety standards. While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have a list of formally approved coating options for surfaces in direct contact with consumable goods, there are several requirements regarding the coating material and quality of the coating for durability, sanitization, and toxicity.
Frequent wash cycles or use with inappropriate tools can damage a coating surface, causing a health hazard should rust or paint flake and enter food products. Also, unprotected surfaces or those with the wrong coating will be porous, giving the surface the unwanted ability to absorb contaminants. For food preparation equipment especially, it’s important to select a coating material that is easy to clean and non-toxic throughout, even when pitted or damaged.
When you’re determining which coating is the right fit for your application, consider health, safety, investment, and longevity criteria. Coatings that comply with all applicable health and safety regulations protect your business and customers. Durable, high-performance coatings also incur less maintenance and equipment replacement costs.
Best-Suited Protective Coatings for the Food Service Industry
Chemical manufacturers have created a wide range of coating options for industrial and commercial goods across every sector. As there are so many options, it can be challenging to pick the right one. For food service industry products, narrow your search to coatings classified as food-grade.
Food-Grade Coating Options
Food-grade coatings and equipment that manufacturers have designed expressly to meet sanitation requirements can save your business money and protect your reputation. In fact, per Amit Kheradia, Remco Products Education and Technical Support Manager, choosing well-designed, sanitary materials and tools that reduce your risk of recalls can save your business up to $1.5 million each year. Food-grade coatings are rated for safe use in food-contact applications, such as preparing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, and delivering consumable goods. Consider these three popular options:
- Fluoropolymer coatings. This powder-coating option resists acid degradation and provides a nonstick surface, making it an excellent choice for the preparation and storage of acidic foods.
- Teflon™/Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings. Teflon™, or PTFE, is a common commercial coating option that creates a nonstick, easy-release surface. This makes it a popular choice for conveyor belts and other surfaces that food service professionals use in the mass production of foods that would otherwise adhere and necessitate time-consuming handling, such as meats.
- Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) coatings. PFA is similar to the others in that it creates a nonstick surface. This coating can handle high-heat cooking and food processing applications.
PTFE Coatings and the Food Service Industry
PTFE coatings are popular for consumer, commercial, and industrial use. In food service, Teflon™ coats are composed of a food contact-safe primer and topcoat that give cookware and equipment a durable, nonstick surface.
Properties of Teflon™ Coatings
Teflon™ coatings can make products:
- Nonstick. The coating is smooth and nonporous, allowing for a quick release of most food products. With a low-friction surface, operators can easily remove foodstuffs from intricate molds and shaped cookware.
- Temperature resistant. The coating won’t degrade in constant, high cooking temperatures of up to 550° F (or 600° F for sporadic uses) or temperatures as cold as -454° F.
- Moisture resistant. As the coating is hydrophobic and nonporous, Teflon™-coated product surfaces are easy to clean.
- Chemically resistant. Teflon™ resists corrosion and damage from acidic foods, fats, and oils.
- Dielectric. As an electrical insulator with a dielectric strength of 2000 V/mil and high surface resistivity, manufacturers can produce specialty Teflon™ coatings with an anti-static effect.
Get Prepared With Custom Teflon™ Coating Services
PTFE and Teflon™ coatings are popular options throughout the food service industry because they make production safer, faster, and more cost-effective. At Matrix Coatings Corp., we provide high-quality, food-grade Teflon™ coating services as a Chemours Licensed Industrial Applicator (LIA). With our custom coating and recoating capabilities, as well as sample offerings for product testing, we can enhance your cookware and equipment for superior performance.