Food and beverage industry

The discovery of stainless steel early in the 20th century was a milestone event for the food and drink processing industries. This wonderfully hygienic and durable alloy has become a favourite in domestic kitchens and for the very same reasons, it is the material of choice in industries as diverse as the processing of milk and dairy products, beer and wine making, confectionery, cooked meats and many, many more.

In this modern age, we take it as a reality that much of our food will be processed, sanitised and packaged under hygienic conditions before it arrives on our plate. Nevertheless, convenience foods will never completely destroy the art and satisfaction of preparing and cooking our own meals from fresh ingredients. Until fairly recently, stainless steel ovens, cooking utensils and tableware were regarded as an expensive luxury in the modern kitchen. Good design, mass production and competition have changed all of that so that the householder can enjoy all of the benefits and attributes of this remarkable family of materials.

Today, more than 30% of all stainless steel produced goes into products related to the food and beverage sector. In this section of the library, there are publications which give guidance on grade selection as well as the importance of hygienic design and fabrication methods for food and beverage handling equipment.

Safe food preparation using stainless steel

The continuing safety of using stainless steel in food preparation has been confirmed in an independent study following the adoption of new test criteria across Europe. The Council of Europe’s (CoE) guidelines for metals and alloys in food contact materials defines specific release limits (SRLs) for metals and includes a new, more aggressive test to simulate use in food preparation. The authors demonstrated that all of the grades passed the test for the relevant metallic elements prescribed in the CoE guidelines. A summary of the report can be downloaded at in English, Chinese or Japanese.

A more detailed technical summary of the report can be downloaded from The full report is also available from

Stainless steel for hygiene

Stainless steel is a standard material for the most demanding hygienic applications - in the home, in industry, in healthcare. This document provides an overview of why stainless steel is so hygienic and where it is typically used.

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Stainless steel in agricultural applications

From a simple feeding pail to the most advanced fully robotised milking equipment, stainless steel is found on farms in numerous applications, where it is an alternative to plastics, light metal and above all galvanised steel.
This brochure explains why stainless steel in used in agricultural applications and highlights applications in fences, gates and partitions, feeding, watering, electrical and mechanical equipment, skin care, dairy farming, ancillary equipment and storage tanks for slurry and waste water.

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Ferritic stainless steel in commercial food equipment

The world of commercial food equipment has been particularly hit by the volatile nickel price and its effect on the price of nickel-containing stainless steels. The inevitable swing away from nickel-containing grades towards nickel-free ‘ferritic’ grades is well in motion and, happily, ferritics have proved the perfect technical and economic answer in many application fields.

Available in English and Chinese [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Best practice in cleaning and disinfecting stainless steel commercial food equipment

This video introduces the best practices in cleaning and disinfecting stainless steel commercial food equipment. There are 7 examples: shiny items, work surfaces, fridge, oven, cooking top, fryer and the floor.

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Stainless steel in the dairy industry

The modern dairy industry requires the use of cleanable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel equipment to meet the needs of milk product consumers everywhere. The latest brochure in the Sustainable Stainless series explains the role of stainless steels in the dairy industry and how they contribute to a sustainable solution for the human diet.

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Stainless steel in the food and beverage industry

This publication explains why stainless steel is the dominant material in the food industry for all types of processing equipment and gives helpful information on material selection, fabrication, surface finish, design principles and relevant European standards.

This document is available in English, Czech, Polish and Turkish [clicking on the language will open the pdf]

Stainless steel in filtration

Filtration is part of our daily life … and stainless steel is the material of choice for filtration. In this document you can find out how, why and where!

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Doors and gates of stainless steel

Fire doors have to be able to withstand extremely high temperatures. The materials that are made from and the type of construction are of the utmost importance. Stainless steel, with a gleaming matt finish, or a ground patterned surface, can relieve the bulk and give a pleasant appearance.

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Floor drains for interior applications

In industrial, pharmaceutical and catering applications, drainage systems have to meet the toughest standards of safety and hygiene. And they have to be cost-effective. For these reasons stainless steel is generally the material of choice for floor gullies, drains and grating.

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Stainless steel for the food processing industries

Stainless steels are widely used in food and beverage manufacturing and processing industries for manufacture, bulk storage and transportation, preparation and presentation applications. Depending on the grade of stainless steel selected, they are suitable for most classes of food and beverage products.
Source: British Stainless Steel Association

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Case study: Hot water pipe

A large, international, food manufacturing company encountered through-wall leaks in a Type 304 stainless steel hot water line after only two years of service. An upgrade to Mo-containing 6Mo stainless steel solved the problem.
Source: International Molybdenum Association

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Hygienic importance of stainless steel in developing countries

Stainless steel products play an active role in improving the hygiene in restaurants, public kitchen, schools, local health centers etc. This is so, especially in emerging markets such as India, Mexico, China, …

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The sugar industry

Corrosion and rapid wear of factory equipment are widely recognised as major production-cost and quality problems in the sugar industry.

The short life of equipment and the need for excessively frequent cleaning and maintenance - often involving disruption of crop processing - can make producing sugar an excessively expensive exercise. Even the quality of the sugar is affected.

The origin of the problem, both in the processing of beet and cane, is that the materials handled are highly corrosive and/or highly abrasive, according to the stage of processing. Stainless steels can offer a solution here.

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