Food and beverage hoses

  • food hoses

Food and beverage hoses – general information

Hoses intended for food industry can come into contact with food products and semi-finished food products. Hose material must not contain any substances that can migrate into food, endanger human health, deteriorate taste and quality of foodstuff. The inner layer of the food hose is made of high quality and high purity rubber and plastic materials, which are compliant with the regulations of  European Union and FDA.  These regulations include the requirements concerning:

  • materials approved to come into contact with food;
  • allowable content and migration values of additives the quantity of hose components that leak from the hose material into simulants that act like particular types of food;
  • appropriate marking e.g. symbol (a glass and a fork);

There are separate national standards for potable water. Lots of hoses for food products, particularly the hoses which meet the raised requirements of e.g. US Pharmacopoeia can be also used in the cosmetics industry and pharmaceutical industry. When selecting the food hose, it is important to choose the hose suitable for the particular cleaning method used in the installation e.g. CIP (Cleaning in Place) or sterilisation e.g. SIP (Sterilisation in Place).

Careful selection and assembly of fittings and couplings is equally important for the installation to be hygienic. AISI 316 stainless steel couplings with appropriately finished inner surface of low roughness are in common use (see: stainless steel hygienic couplings in INDUSTRIAL FITTINGS section). The couplings are fitted using worm-drive clamps, bolt clamps or crimped with ferrules.

To find more hoses suitable for the transfer of foodstuffs, check the following groups: general purpose, chemical, material handling hoses (dry and loose foodstuffs), ducting hoses, metal, PTFE and silicone hoses, peristaltic pump tubing and TYGON® tubing.

The material of each hose, in addition to its basic component i.e. elastomer (rubber hoses) or polymer (plastic hoses), contains many additives ensuring the appropriate processing properties of a raw material and the best possible mechanical and chemical properties of a finished hose. These include various types of crosslinkers, plasticisers (softening agents), fillers, stabilisers, antioxidants, dyes etc. Impurities coming from the raw materials may also be present.
When the hoses are used in food production and processing, the material of their internal layer is in direct contact with the food substance that flows through the hose – from the beginning to the end of the whole process, so until the cleaning of the hose or the entire system is finished. As a result of this contact, the additives are extracted (drawn) from the rubber or plastic compound and then they pass (permeate, migrate) into the liquid food substance, acting as a solvent. The amount of substances that migrate into food depends primarily on the type of hose material, type of additives, chemical properties of the food substance flowing through, time and temperature.
The additives contained in the food substances may be harmful to human health. Besides, they may alter the organoleptic properties of a food product (e.g. taste or smell). Therefore, the requirements for food contact materials focus on:

  • permitted amount of a given additive – some of which are totally prohibited;
  • permitted migration of additives into food simulants – model fluids substituting specific types of food
✓ Not every food hose is suitable for all types of food !
✓ The hose must be used in accordance with the relevant certificate or the manufacturer's recommended use
(e.g. milk hoses, wine and beer hoses, beverage hoses, hoses for oily and fatty foods)!
✓It is not only the type of foodstuff that matters, but also its concentration, contact time and temperature!
Materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (FCM – Food Contact Materials) – general requirements, proper labelling of an article, a sample declaration of compliance, groups of materials and articles that may be subject to specific measures.Apply to all food grade hoses.
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food – general guidelines for quality assurance system and quality control system, documentation and rules for the application of printing ink on the non-food contact side of the material or article.
Plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food: general requirements, list of permitted materials and additives, testing conditions, specific migration limits (SML) and overall migration limits, list of food simulants imitating food for additive migration testing and proper assignment of food simulants to specific types of food, sample declaration of compliance.For plastic hoses (except rubber or silicone).
symbolsimulantfood type
Aethanol 10 %hydrophilic foods* – aqueous foods and non-alcoholic beverages
Bacetic acid 3 %hydrophilic* acidic food (pH < 4.5)
Cethanol 20 %hydrophilic foods* with an alcohol content of up to 20 % and food of a more lipophilic* character
D1ethanol 50 %lipophilic* foods with an alcohol content of above 20%, milk and dairy products, emulsions
D2vegetable oillipophilic* foods – fats and oils, foods which contain free fats at the surface
Epoly(2, 6-diphenyl-p-phenylene oxide)dry food

* – hydrophilic – hydrated, dissolving in water; lipophilic – dissolving in fats, oils.

Each food substance can be assigned to a specific food category and imitated during migration testing by a specific food simulant, according to a detailed table in Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 (for instance: milk requires D1 fluid, vinegar – B fluid, ice-cream – C fluid, and mustard – A, B and D2 fluids).

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) – the US food and drug agency. The requirements for food contact materials are set out in Chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR) and include a list of approved materials and additives. Compliance with FDA means a manufacturer’s declaration and is recognised and acknowledged worldwide.FDA 21 CFR 177.2600 – rubber (migration limit for aqueous foods – point (e), and fatty foods – point (f));
FDA 21 CFR 170-199, 175.300 – PVC and its components;
FDA 21 CFR 175.105, 177.1680, 177.2600 – polyurethane;
FDA 21 CFR 177.1520 – polyethylene, polypropylene;
FDA 21 CFR 177.1550 – PTFE and other fluorinated polymers
NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) – independent organisation that helps protect human health; it sets standards regarding finished products based on FDA guidelines, which are internationally acknowledged and recognised.NSF-51 standard – plastics in food equipment, is a basic standard for food hoses as it defines the material requirements and provides specifications regarding appropriate material composition.
3-A Sanitary Standards – independent organisation; sets standards for the design and inspection of equipment used in the dairy, food and pharmaceutical industry to allow maintaining cleanliness, internationally acknowledged and recognised.3-A 18-03 – rubber materials;
3-A 20-27 – plastics;
3-A 62-02 – complete flexible hose assemblies;
3-A 63-03 – hygienic couplings and fittings;
P3-A 002 – materials for use in pharmaceutical processes.
BfR (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) – institute for risk assessment and health protection, gives recommendations regarding food contact materials, including rubber and polymers.BfR III – polyethylene;
BfR XV – silicone;
BfR XXI – natural and synthetic rubber.

Drinking water (i.e. water intended for human consumption) is subject to special regulations. Water for human consumption is defined as: water in its original state or after treatment, intended for drinking, cooking, food preparation or other domestic purposes, supplied from a water supply network, by tankers, in containers and bottles, and all water used in food production. Potable water together with its transfer systems and distribution networks (including hoses used for this purpose) are subject to general European regulations (Directive 98/83/EC) and to specific national regulations.

National Institute of Public Health/National Institute of Hygiene – National Research Institute performs mandatory testing and issues certificates for products and materials intended to come into contact with drinking water. The State Sanitary Inspection supervises the use of materials and products for potable water.
In Germany, plastic materials and articles in contact with drinking water must comply with the requirements known as KTW (Kunststoffe im Kontakt mit Trinkwasser) which include, in particular, a list of approved materials and migration limits. In addition, the materials should comply with the requirements of microbiological assessment (in terms of microbial growth) according to DVGW W270 (DVGW Deutsche Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches). KTW and DVGW certificates are issued by the relevant institutes and are recognised and acknowledged in many countries.
(Great Britain)
WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) – UK organisation that develops guidelines and standards for water systems, products and materials. WRAS certificates confirm the compliance of materials and products with BS standards for drinking water. They are recognised and acknowledged in many countries.
NSF/ANSI Standard 61 – NSF standard concerns drinking water systems and products and their impact on health. NSF-61 certificates confirm the compliance of materials and products with NSF standards and are recognised and acknowledged in many countries.
USP Class VIUSP (US Pharmacopoeia) – requirements for materials used in the pharmaceuticals industry, biotechnology and medical devices. USP Class VI is the most stringent requirement, includes testing on laboratory animals, but it is not always sufficient for medical application.
ISO 10993Biological evaluation of medical devices – procedures and requirements for medical devices, depending on their category (surface, external, implants).


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Product types:

plastic hose for food substances

Plastic hoses, for foodstuffs

Rubber hoses for foodstuffs

Rubber hoses, for foodstuffs

suction and delivery hoses for food substances

TPE hoses, for foodstuffs

food hygiene hoses

High purity hoses, for foodstuffs

List of products:

PVC drinking water hose

Drinking water hoses

food hose for milk

Hoses for milk

alcohol hoses

Hoses for alcohol

beer hose

Hoses for beer

wine hose

Hoses for wine

juice hose

Hoses for juices and beverages

food hose for oil

Hoses for fats and oils

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