When Your Food Business Takes Off
When small is still a good description of your business, but not a good description of how much you use in the way of materials, it’s time to grow. This growth means buying your raw materials in food-grade, sanitary intermediate bulk containers. These types of containers are commonly used to transport bulk ingredients on a pallet. The term intermediate refers to their size, with intermediate bulk containers holding more than 55-gallon drums but less than tanks. These containers are designed to be moved using a pallet jack, stacker, or a forklift, and unlike drums or tanks can be stacked atop one another. They hold both liquid and dry ingredients and can be tapped directly for the amount needed.
Food Grade Materials
Ingredients such as flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and other high use ingredients need to be contained in food-grade materials.
1. Aluminum. Aluminum is popular with dry ingredients, but acidic ingredients can react with the metal. When using aluminum intermediate bulk containers use them only to store nonreactive substances.
2. Stainless steel. 300 series stainless steel types are typically used in food-grade applications with 304 stainless steel leading the pack. This contains the standard 18/8 and 18/10 grades. They are not as reactive as aluminum and resist leaching.
3. Food-grade plastics. There are many different types of food-grade plastics, but among the more popular plastics in use are high-density polyethylene, ABS plastics, and polycarbonate. All offer impact resistance, chemical resistance, and UV resistance that protects the foodstuffs they contain.
One of the reasons that intermediate bulk containers are so popular is that they are reusable. While a company may invest a considerable amount in purchasing products in this type of container, the containers themselves can be reused again and again. Buy in bulk and see the savings grow.