Food Grade vs. Industrial Grade: Do The Differences Matter?
There’s this basic idea that industrial-grade and food-grade tanks are the same thing, and that it doesn’t matter which one you use. This is not true at all. Grade labels exist for a reason, so of course there is a reason why it would matter.
Industrial-grade is meant mostly for general use. Factories, construction sites, supermarkets, and entertainment studios use this grade for a variety of purposes (the latter of which we kinda appeal to). Food-grade is meant for exactly what it says it’s for: food (and drinks too). That’s about as simple as you can get. But it is very important that chefs and restaurants use a food-grade tank and not and industrial one.
What’s the Big Deal?
So we already focused a bit on what the basic difference between Industrial and food-grade tanks are, but what exactly makes it suitable for different industries? Simple: the impurities. They are contaminants that are inserted in the tank along with the gas itself, and they usually consist of 1% oxygen, hydrocarbons, benzene, acetaldehyde, or ethylene to name a few. The other 99% of it would be the gas you paid money for, whether its industrial-grade propane, food-grade CO2, whatever. They help add to what makes each gas tank suitable for their intended application.
Contaminants will affect how pure the gas is. Gas tanks have to have a certain level of purity in order for them to be allowed anywhere in the work field. There is a grading system that industrial gas cylinders go through that will determine its purity level. Usually, industrial gases are required to earn at least a 99% purity rating. Some require a stricter 99.9% score. Food-grade cylinders especially need this score to be deemed viable for food prep, and guess who rates its purity level? If you guessed the FDA, you’d be right.