The speed of any food production line is only as fast as the slowest station in the line. This can vary by the type of food processing—e.g., bread, cookies, bread, dairy—so the ways Teflon™ coatings can help vary from product to product. And because so many Teflon™ coatings are FDA-compliant, there are always options to fit any particular set of performance needs.
The high-release and non-stick properties of Teflon™ are well known in the consumer bakeware category, but these properties also apply very well to industrial baking in a number of capacities. Speed is important to maintain profitability, so bakers are always looking for an edge. Higher baking temperatures can mean shorter baking times, but there is a limit to continuous use temperatures in fluoropolymer coatings.
FDA-compliant Teflon™ coatings such as PFA and PTFE come in varieties that can maintain peak performance through repeated cycles of 500° F (260° C). Both single-coat and multiple-coat options are available. For multiple-coat systems, each “layer” (including primer layer) must be FDA-compliant independently in order for the complete coating system to be FDA-compliant.
Teflon™ coatings also help keep food products of all kinds moving down the line at speed on conveyors, down channels, through feeders, and into packaging. It is frequently used on industrial food processing equipment such as mixers, feeders, cutting blades, molds, guide rails, and die rollers.
In other baking applications, a Teflon™ coating can replace oil as a release agent when storing and moving products, such as bread dough, prior to baking. Dough troughs are large bins that store bread dough temporarily in commercial bakeries. The problem is that when the dough rises it becomes sticky and it is difficult to remove from its trough.
One common solution is to spray the entire surface with vegetable oil so that the dough will slide out easily when ready. But the high volume of oil can be costly and messy, can affect taste, and can become a safety issue. Applying Teflon™ coatings on dough troughs can reduce oil consumption and cleaning times dramatically.
Other food applications:
- Cheese Production – Teflon™ coatings eliminate the problematic buildup of dried cheese crust.
- Fast Food Restaurants – Teflon™ coatings help reduce recoating frequency on cooking equipment.
- Potato Chip Manufacturing – Teflon™ coatings help reduce residue build-up by coating knives used to cut potatoes, resulting in less downtime and lower cleaning and maintenance costs.
- Pineapple Processing (and similar high-acidity products) – Teflon™ coatings reduce corrosion caused by acidic juices, reduce need for lubrication with food-grade oil, and result in improved replacement frequency levels due to longer life of the housings.