Food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components are widely used in facilities where food or consumables are present, such as in the food processing, beverage, dairy, meat packing and pharmaceutical industries. These parts, made from food grade materials, are often used in the process equipment and infrastructure found within these facilities.
To protect consumer health and safety, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has put into place strict standards and requirements governing the types of materials that can come into contact with food and other consumables (FDA Code of Federal Regulation Title 21 [FDA 21 CFR 177.2600]). Legislative bodies in other jurisdictions have enacted similar requirements.
CFR 21 FDA 177.2600 is essentially a list of permitted base elastomers and vulcanization materials. The materials on this list are used in rubber production and are considered food safe. For a material to be considered FDA compliant, the ingredients and additives used in its manufacture must appear on this list.
In servicing our customers’ needs for food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components, CRG uses only FDA compliant materials that are manufactured using only FDA approved ingredients. In this blog, we highlight five materials that we employ to make food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components.
About food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components
Food grade rubber materials with antimicrobial properties inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. While some rubber materials, particularly silicone, possess some inherent resistance to the growth of bacteria and microbes, other rubbers typically do not. The antimicrobial property of a rubber can be enhanced by including antimicrobial additives in the formulation of its compound. Additives that are often added to rubber compounds to produce an antimicrobial property include silver and zinc agents. The resulting compound will have a greater ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds, yeast, and fungi.
FDA Silicone rubber
Silicone rubbers resist water and many chemicals, including acids, oxidizing chemicals, ammonia and isopropyl alcohol. The material also has a lower compression set and results in softer compounds. A further advantage for food processors is that silicone rubber is sanitation-friendly, meaning that it will stand up to frequent equipment washdowns.
Silver-based silicone rubbers are an excellent choice for antimicrobial rubber parts and components used in food-grade applications. neutraSil™ is a proven antimicrobial rubber used by CRG to produce food-grade parts and components. neutraSil™ antimicrobial silicone works by releasing a stream of silver ions, inhibiting the growth of bacterial cells by disabling their proton pumps. This interferes with the proteins required for cellular functioning and disrupts cell wall synthesis.
NeutraSil™ has been independently proven to inhibit the growth of MRSA, E. Coli and Salmonella. With silver-ion technology at its core, the growth of bacterial cells are broken down and prohibited to populate. This ensures the highest levels of safety where rubber parts and components made from neutraSil™ are used.
FDA Nitrile (NBR) rubber
Parts and components made from FDA nitrile rubber have a high resistance to animal fats and vegetable oils. These parts and components can also withstand temperatures over a range from -40°C (-40°F) to 100°C (212°F). Examples of food grade parts and components that CRG can fabricate from FDA nitrile rubber include gaskets and seals, suction and discharge products for food processing and dairy, and more.
FDA EPDM rubber
EPDM rubber is a versatile compound that combines flexibility, durability and high heat resistance. Because of its good chemical resistance, FDA EPDM rubber can be used to fabricate food grade parts and components for food, dairy and pharma process equipment that comes into contact with chemicals and fluids, such as seals and gaskets. is used in applications that demand both flexibility and ruggedness. These parts and components can support a service temperature range from -40°C (-40°F) to 121°C (250°F).
FDA Neoprene (CR) rubber
Neoprene rubber has good chemical stability and maintains its flexibility over a wide temperature range (-20°C [-4°F] to 110°C [230°F]). It has good resistance to oils, solvents and ozone. FDA neoprene can be used to fabricate parts and components for a wide variety of applications. Because it is latex free, antimicrobial neoprene parts and components are often used in medical applications, including the manufacture of orthopedic braces and supports.
FDA Natural (NR) rubber
Natural rubber is a flexible material that has a high tensile strength and good resistance to abrasion. Compared to other food grade rubbers, it has lower resistance to heat and oils. Parts and components fabricated from antimicrobial natural rubber is best used in situations where the products will be exposed to wet and dry organic acids and alcohol and chemicals with a moderate pH level.
Buyers seeking food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components need look no further than CRG as their source of supply. We have the materials you need on hand, and our experienced production team can produce the parts you need using advanced manufacturing techniques, allied to hand fabrication where required. From prototyping to final part production, no order is too big or too small.
To find out more about the food grade (antimicrobial) rubber parts and components we can supply, please contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.