The right conveyor belt for the right type of food

Conveyor belt crackers

In the food industry, there are strict regulations for handling and hygiene. Everything that comes into direct contact with food must be approved for food production. Otherwise, the material can transfer substances to the food that can affect taste, smell, durability and, in the worst case, also human health. Various types of belt conveyors are almost always used in a production line. The conveyors that come into direct contact with the food must therefore have a food grade belt, which is also intended for the specific type of food.

Material selection

There is a huge selection of materials and surface properties, and it is important to choose the right one. If your production handles frozen foods, you should e.g. consider choosing a TPU-coated belt that has high flexibility at low temperatures. And if you have a bakery with sticky products such as dough, a belt with good release properties is important to reduce spillage. There are also belts that are surface-treated with TPO (Themoplastic Polyolefin) which are PVC-free and contain neither phthalates nor halogens. Below is a summary of the most common materials, their properties and examples of foods they are suitable for.

It is always best to consult your supplier to find the right combination of materials and surface properties for your particular application. Also keep in mind that in special cases the entire belt conveyor must be approved for food production, which may require a different design and choice of materials in addition to the belt itself. In many cases, it is sufficient that the conveyor belt is food grade because it is the component that comes into direct contact with the food.




Examples of foods

Polyester (PET)

·  Very high strength
·  High dimensional stability
·  Good resistance to most chemicals

·  Limited elasticity compared to polyamide

·  Pastry
·  Chocolate

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (Food grade variant)

·  Good chemical resistance, also against chlorine
·  Resistant to hot water and steam
·  UV resistant
·  Flame retardant and antistatic options
·  Cost effective

·  Low flexibility at low temperatures
·  Limited abrasion resistance
·  Limited resistance to solvents, oil and grease
·  Problems with waste disposal

·  Processed food
·  Fish
·  Meat/poulty

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

·  High flexibility, even at low temperature
·  Very good abrasion resistance
·  Good oil and grease resistance
·  Odorless

·  Not resistant to hot water and steam
·  Not resistant to chlorine and many organic solvents

·  Frozen foodsl
·  Pastry
·  Cereals
·  Pasta
·  Confectionery/
·  Cheese 
·  Fish
·  Meat/poulty

Silicone rubber (SI)

·  High temperature resistance
·  Good release properties
·  High chemical resistance
·  Good UV resistance

·  Low tensile strength
·  Low abrasion resistance


·  Pastry
·  Chocolate
·  Frozen foods

Cleaning methods

The vast majority of food grade belts have good chemical resistance and can handle most common cleaning agents. To be on the safe side, it's best to read the belt's product data sheet for appropriate cleaning methods for each belt type/material. There are special antimicrobial belts that prevent the growth of micro-organisms even in areas that are difficult to clean. The antimicrobial additive does not affect the food in any way.

Accessories that improve efficiency

Belt with cleatsThere are several accessories for belts which can make your production more efficient, e.g. belt profiles that ensure that the goods are transported correctly even when conveyor is tilted. Belt profiles are mounted on the belt transverse to the direction of travel. It is also possible to mount side supports along the belt which ensures that goods do not roll off the belt conveyor. When choosing accessories such as belt profiles, it is important to remember that these have the same properties as the conveyor belt itself.

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