US beverage seal trounces flavouring agent transfer: company

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chemistry

US beverage seal trounces flavouring agent transfer: company
Freudenberg Process Seals is launching its new Fluoroprene XP 40 sealing material onto the US market, and said it overcome the limitations of existing products offered to beverage processors.

The German company said its cost-effective material – pictured, and launched in Europe in 2008 – overcame the limitations of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer, a synthetic rubber), and other fluorocarbon (FKM) materials.

It was especially well-suited for use in facilities that manufactured and processed products with a wide range of formulas and processing conditions, Freudenberg claimed.

“For the beverage industry, the transfer of flavouring agents from one production batch to another is of particular concern. Due to its superior durability, extensive tests have demonstrated that this can be avoided using Fluoroprene XP 40,”​ the company said in a statement.

Shipped in a dark blue colour that reduced the chance of confusing it with other materials – it is available for O-rings, moulded parts and diaphragms – Freudenberg said the product cut out the need for different sealing materials (thus cutting purchasing and logistics costs).

A spokeswoman for Freudenberg Process Seals in Germany told that the product had been a great success in Europe, and that the company had opted for a US launch because it was striving to develop its business there.

She said demand had grown there for such a solution, since many of Freudenberg's German clients also had business in the US, which meant that the firm had contacts there and demand had grown accordingly, as it exploited cross-selling opportunities.

Reduced downtime

Longer maintenance intervals and reduced downtime on account of seal failure were two other advantages flagged-up by the company.

Normally, EPDM would be the material of choice for processing application in aqueous solutions and clean-in-place or sterilization-in-place media, Freudenberg said, but the company warned that it failed in high-fat containing media.

Very few sealing materials are suited for use with food, and the German firm explained that EPDM swells when it comes into contact with high grease concentrations or flavourings, while perfluroelastomers (FFKM) provide sufficient resistance, but are very expensive.

FKM was commonly used in high fat containing media at elevated temperatures, but failed in acid or basic cleaning agents, the company explained.

James Lippert, Freudenberg Process Seals US sales manager, said: "Often, the durability of food and beverage processing seals is not dependent on the product, but on the other chemicals and aggressive agents that are also used in a given application.

He added: "As a result, we developed Fluoroprene XP 40 as the first universal material that is resistant to all media used in the food and beverage processing industry."

Single sealing material

Before the introduction of Fluoroprene XP 40, Freudenberg said there was no single sealing material capable of withstanding both chemically aggressive cleaning agents and sterilising steam, in addition to high fat concentrations or flavouring agents commonly found in processing applications.

“The new…material eliminates the need for multiple materials, as it demonstrates high durability in all essential fields of the food and beverage industry,”​ the company said.

It claims that Fluoroprene XP 40 can resist temperatures ranging from -15C to 200C, and media including high concentrations of fat, flavouring agents, acids, bases and steam.

Freudenberg Process Seals is a division of Freudenberg Group, and international sealing solutions supplier to food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

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