Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd

Silicone Detectaseal for detecting rubber contamination during Food Processing

Press Release   •   Jun 25, 2011 11:34 BST

The custom seal designs used in food processing equipment manufactured by PPE allow fragments of Detectaseal XS7H silicone rubber elastomer can be detected as small as 2mm with production in-line metal detectors.

Detectaseal XS7H is a 'clean' material, setting a new industry standard for silicone seals in food processing. It contains no fillers, waxes process oils and other compounding ingredients that are commonly used in other elastomers. In addition, by platinum curing the elastomer there are no curing additive residues left on the moulded seal which could react with food processing liquids. FDA and USP Class VI compliant, the XS7H silicone elastomer is suitable for operating temperatures between -60°C and +200°C making it ideal for steam cleaning, heating and cooling processes, and hygienic sealing for food processing applications in general.

Rubber contamination affects many foods
Rubber contamination product recalls reported by the Food Standards Agency in recent years have included products as diverse as ice cream, peanuts, crisps, chocolate confectionery, cakes and cheese. Over time repeated clean-in-place, sterilisation, and handling during equipment cleaning, can degrade rubber seals used in food processing equipment and pipework. As the seal degrades there is a risk of rubber fragments breaking off, leading to product contamination. In addition, hygienic processing conditions are compromised as the degraded seal's surface itself can provide a potential site for the growth of micro-organisms.

Detectaseal uses in-line detection equipment
Rather than wait for customer complaints, possibly resulting in an expensive product recall, Detectaseal reduces the risk exposure and provides food processors with a reliable approach to detecting seal fragments as small as 2mm, using existing in-line means of metal detection. In addition to XS7H silicon grade, the full Detectaseal range includes metal detectable fluoroelastomer, nitrile and EPDM. All PPE elastomer seals used in food processing are produced
in cleanroom conditions and offer full traceability.

Growing range of food grade rubber seals
PPE is committed to supplying seals to the highest standard for food processing. It offers a growing range of FDA, USP Class VI and 3-A (dairy) approved elastomers, enabling equipment manufacturers and users to select the most appropriate elastomer to meet temperature, chemical and physical performance criteria.

In addition, PPE is the leading contributor on elastomeric materials to the latest EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) guide on 'Materials of Construction for Equipment in contact with Food’.

For further details of PPE's Detectaseal materials, and other rubber seals and o rings, visit

PPE manufacture and supply high performance moulded o rings and rubber seals to the food and dairy industry.