As you shop around for the best products for your baby, there is one phrase you will come across quite a bit: Food Grade Materials. If a product is made with food grade material, it means it is safe to come into direct contact with food products. This includes the cases, pigments, fittings, utensils, and much more. As moms who made products out of only the highest food-grade material, we wanted to break down each of the food-grade materials we use and why they are important. Keep reading for more on the four food-grade materials used at Innobaby and how they help keep your family safe.
Food Grade Material #1: Plastic
The critical thing to understand about plastic is that not all of it is food-grade. Plastic is very popular for baby product companies because it’s functional, cost-effective, and safe when used correctly. Therefore, understanding various plastic materials and its grade is important to avoid unnecessary chemical exposure to your growing baby.
To be considered food-grade, the plastic must meet these requirements:
- Contains no dyes that are harmful for food consumption
- Container no additives that are harmful for humans
- Virgin plastic material is safer. If a manufacturer uses recycled plastics, make sure that the manufacturer stands behind their quality & safety.
What to Look For
All plastic products in the USA carry a symbol with a number on it. This number ranges from 1 to 7. At Innobaby, we use virgin food grade plastic (not recycled) and carefully source our materials in South Korea or the United States.
We offer storage storage solutions in plastic materials:
- Keeping food contents 100% leakproof and airtight
- Used for stacking containers - Always check if the interlocking mechanism is smooth & secure. When stacking, if you hear squeaky sounds, check to make sure that you are not shaving plastic into baby’s food. With our twistable, we assure squeaky free stacking!
- Lightweight & easy for On-the-Go!
- Optimal solution for storing dry snacks for kids. Not recommended for feeding hot or acidic foods.
Food Grade Material #2: Stainless
Why metal? Some people may ask why people chose stainless steel over plastic for serving food. We offer feeding products in stainless steel as it is durable and food contact safe regardless of the temperature. Stainless steel is a common material used for cooking to storing, handling to service, and much more; however, it’s important to know that not all stainless steel are created equal. There are different grades in stainless steel so be sure to do your research and ask the manufacturer, if needed, so you don’t end up with rusty stainless steel plates or lunchboxes. The finish also determines the quality as the quality manufacturing ensures smooth edges to avoid cuts or smooth surfaces to prevent bacterial growth. When it comes to washing, stainless steel is your go-to solution as you can easily clean and sanitize in the dishwasher without the worries of wear.
The finish determines whether it is food-grade or not; the finish of the steel must eliminate any surfaces that could result in bacterial growth while also being easy to clean/sanitize. (source: https://www.marlinwire.com/blog/food-grade-stainless-steel-facts )
What to Look For
Not all stainless steels are made the same. We use 18/10 304 type food-grade stainless steel as it’s properties are stable and long lasting compared to lower grade stainless steels. Above this are commercial grade and medical grade steels which are not necessary for plating/storing purposes. Anything below 304 type grade may be easier & cheaper to manufacture, however, prone to rusting.
Stainless steel is great for:
- Insulated food jars
Use with caution:
- Steel conducts heat/cold quickly. If not double lined, check the temperature before serving.
- Acidic & salty foods leftover overtime may result in corrosion. Avoid prolonged exposure for longevity of the product.
- Check for sharp edges or inconsistent finish for safety - quality manufacturing is important.
Food Grade Material #3: Glass
Many people love glass bottles and food storage. Did you know there is more than just one type of glass? It’s true — the quality of the glass is determined by the additional materials used to make it (other than just sand). Clear glass is made using silica sand. Once melted, it stays somewhere between a liquid and a solid (enter the product molding process) until additional materials are added. These include soda ash, limestone, cullet, silica, and much more.
What to Look For
Glass is classified as Type I Borosilicate Glass, Type II Tempered Glass, Type III Treated Soda Lime Glass, and Type IV Soda Lime Glass, all of which are considered food-safe. Soda-lime is most often chosen as the packaging of choice.
Glass is great for:
- Glass is not great for:
- Stacking containers or lunch boxes
Food Grade Material #4: Silicone
Silicone is best known as the answer to all environmental concerns regarding single-use plastics and plastic waste. Reusable pouches and containers have skyrocketed in popularity; however, food-grade silicone has many more applications and uses than just as a replacement for plastic. Food-grade silicone is exceptionally versatile and can be used for almost anything when it comes to food handling, storing, and serving.
Food grade silicone is non-toxic and odorless, naturally mold-resistant, is biodegradable, and contains no BPA, Latex, Lead, or Phthalates — making it safe & environmentally friendly. It has high elasticity, is very resistant to tears, and can withstand very high temperatures.
What to Look For
To determine the difference between regular silicone and food-grade silicone, you can do the simple “Pull Test”. Grab your silicone product tightly on each end and try to pull it apart. If the stretched area turns white, it is not food grade. If it doesn’t change color, you are good to go!
Silicone is great for:
- Freezer or oven use
- Bibs, teethers, pacifiers
- Plates, bowls, and utensils
- Bottle nipples
- Bath products
- Cleaning tools
- On-the-go pouches
Silicone is not great for:
- Stacking containers
- On-the-go for hot food
If you are looking for the best food-grade baby products on the market, look no further than Innobaby. All of our products are not only food-grade but made with the highest grade in each category. Our award-winning products are made with the health and safety of your family in mind.
Whether it is teethers, suction plates, food storage, or bath time fun, we are a one-stop shop for all of the highest food-grade quality products your family needs.
Learn more about us and shop our products at innobaby.com